Year’s ago, I sat contemplating the eventual empty nest. Today, here I sit, one day to go, about to embrace that empty nest.
I have four grown kids. The youngest is now 22 and flying free. My mind raced a marathon this week to figure out how I can help. My heart was heavy, realizing it was going to be more challenging than I thought. Multiple times a day, my mind spins in chaos, knowing our time together is changing. I am okay with it, but I already miss the comforts of him being here.
Having complications with other children, I continue to fear I did something wrong. Did I miss a life lesson along the way? We dont know until we see them rise in their potential and transition toward their adult life.
I learned something impactful this year. We have no control.
I wish my life lesson came with less pain, but I remain grateful anyhow. In all the mothering I did, speaking encouragement into the broken lives of my children, and lifting up unceasing prayer, I found peace in the truth of letting go. It does not only apply to addicted kids, it applies to all kids.
We mom’s hold on tight. Believing we know what’s best, we fight hard to control things out of love. I learned we are not always aware we are doing it. It is not always about controlling people, but controlling outcomes, emotions, feelings, paths, choices, and getting a result we hoped and longed for from their first breath.
Perhaps we let go in small ways along the way. We stopped the inner voice from saying, “Tell them one more time.” We manage to refrain from sharing unsolicited opinions or advice. Still, even in the best situations, I see mothers claim a natural right to clench their beloved child with all their might. Fear tangles with our hearts and clouds our minds.
Tomorrow is a new beginning. Parenting will look different. He has been a hard working man for a while now, but now he’s a man on his own. My experience with the others taught me our relationship will grow deeper. It is a concept I didnt think possible, but I know it well. Being my ‘baby’, I feel lost, still.
God must have known I wasn’t ready. In the next room sits two grandkids who currently live with us. I will be necessary and needed for awhile. For now, I prepare for the day the nest is really empty. We have some baby birds to love, clean up after, teach confusing fourth grade math, remind to brush teeth, and tuck in every single night with an ‘I love you’, kiss, and good night.
Life goes on, and I remain floating among the waves.