Learning To Let Go-Transitioning To An Empty Nest

Learning to let go of your children is not an easy task as I am finding out. Last week we had college orientation.  I’ve never had that experience either as a parent or as a student.  After I graduated from High School I attended Technical College while living at home with my parents, so I never had the “college experience”.   It was a somewhat silent 2 hour drive to campus.  Each one of us had our own thoughts.  I was lost in thought about how the day would affect me emotionally.  I wanted to keep a stiff upper lip.  After all it was just orientation. If I had a hard time with this, how was I gonna be on move in day!  I know my daughter was swimming in her own thoughts.  First time meeting her roommate, registering for classes, thoughts of dealing with how she was going to handle being away from her boyfriend and friends, I can only imagine what she is going through even though it’s an exciting transition for her.  No wonder it was a silent ride!

The day went fine, we met Megan’s roommate and her parents and really hit if off with them.  It’s also reassuring that her roommates Dad works on campus and is more than willing to keep an eye on things.  We went our separate way late morning and Megan signed up for classes and did some fun things to break the ice. It ended up to be a long day, a little emotional when we heard stories from upperclassmen about their first year experiences, but a happy one in general.  I left feeling excited about Megan’s first year and all the possibilities open to her.  It made the thought of “letting go” a little easier.

The process has begun already.  Since graduation, we hardly see her. Between her job at our town library, her boyfriend, and her friends, she has quite the social life.  A year ago she was happy to spend most of her free time with us, but now we are pretty low on her social scale.  I think she is not only preparing herself, but also us for fall when she goes off to college.  I know this is a good thing although it’s pretty quiet around the house and I miss having her to just run errands and go places with.  I miss the girl talks since she was just beginning to look to me for advice.  It’s all part of the process of letting go.

So with one month of summer gone and 2 left I am hoping that it will gradually get easier.  I am hoping to spend some time with her so that we can keep connected.  Maybe a camping trip or some kind of mini-getaway just as reassurance that she is okay and knows that we are always here for her.  After all when everything is said and done, this will always be her home and even though I have to let her go physically I will never let her go in my heart.

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