In less than two weeks, my youngest will be graduating from high school. As a divorced mother, I can do one of two things. I can either be distraught, cling to her tightly, and cry myself to sleep at night, or I can do something else entirely. I can dream of all the things I will be able to do in my new awesome empty nest.
The possibilities are endless! I can dance naked (okay, okay so I’d never be naked at my age) around the house listening to the music my daughter hates. I can cook all the things I avoided because my kids didn’t like them. Oh, I can’t wait to smell up the house with pan-seared tilapia, asparagus, & brown rice! I will actually have complete control over the DVR for a change. It will not be filled up with One Tree Hill and the Voice – although I admit that I kinda like the Voice so that one can stay. The second bathroom will remain clean – what a concept!! There will be no dirty laundry strewn across the floor of the loft outside my daughter’s room to step over. There will be adequate space for my shoes by the back door instead of four different pairs of Converse in every imaginable color.
With no one waiting at home for me, I can run to the gym after work without hurrying home. Without anyone to need a check for the myraid of senior year activities, which are causing my wallet to feel a little thin these days, I can indulge in spending on ME. I can turn the second bedroom into an office, or a guest room, decorated to my liking. With no one else parking in the garage, I don’t have to worry about anyone opening their door into mine when parking too close.
Who would have thought the day would actually come when I would be an empty nester? The idea of it should be cause for celebration. I should be doing the happy dance right now. So why do I sit here typing with tears in my eyes? Why do I long for the days of little chubby arms wrapped around my neck whispering “Mommy”? Why do I wish that I could have one more day of sitting on the floor watching Barney with my little ones, while dinner is cooking in the kitchen? Why does my house already feel quiet and bare? I have a few more months before she leaves for college. Will I celebrate when she leaves? No. I will kiss her goodbye, watch her leave, and thank the dear Lord for placing her in my care for 18 wonderful years. I will pray that I have taught her well, and that she will continue to grow into the beautiful, kind, and generous young woman that she already is. I will pray that no harm comes to her, that she makes many wonderful friends, and that she thinks fondly of her time with me. I pray that one day I will actually feel like celebrating, and you will find me dancing (almost) naked through my empty nest.