“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.”
-Kahlil Gibran

“Times they are a-changing!” This past week my family went through major transitions. My oldest daughter left for an internship in a different part of the country, my middle daughter to her first year of college, and my son will start high school next week. My nest, which used to be a hub of activity, is slowly getting emptied. To put it simply, I am on the edge of tears each day knowing this part of my journey, something so all-encompassing, is reaching the final act. I’m not kidding. I saw a jar of peanut butter when I was making dinner tonight, and I burst into tears because I remember that being my daughter’s favorite. Who will finish it now? I’m a mess!

While I always knew this day would come, I had no idea how hard it would be, and I have been caught off guard that I am not handling this better. My daughter said, “just think of all the times I drove you crazy.” My response was, “I am a mom…I forget the pain, which is why there are two more after you.”

Life is a book filled with chapters, and motherhood was one I truly relished. From the early preschool years to watching them drive away the first time, there has always been an inner reserve that I found within me. As Shakespeare wrote, we are all merely actors in a more significant play, and our job was to give our kids the tools for the performance of their lives. The time would come to let them go. The warnings were always there. Little grandmas would tell me, “The days are long, but the years are short.” “Enjoy it because it goes to fast.” Added to that, 2019 sounded like it belonged in a galaxy far, far away. Of course, I would be ready!

While I am incredibly grateful for the years of being a mom, even the challenges of being a single mom, there is no guide on how to transition to this new role that can convince my heart to get a grip. Any time you open your spirit to another and invite them to make a home in it, you expand yourself in ways that you can never be the same. I know I could get really excited about this unique opportunity of time and space. I have been working on a book for a few years, and maybe it is time to commit to getting it done. There is the yoga mat that has been ignored, and books to be read.

And yet…there is still this ache that busy-ness can’t solve. Theoretically I should look at this as a promotion. You never stop being a parent. Just when you thought you had it all figured out, you are pushed to grow yet again! That is the richness of being alive. As your nest empties, you have to pump your wings and chart your next course! So here’s to those who are launching their kids this week…you are not alone in your search for a Kleenex! May you find joy in knowing you made a contribution by your love and may you find something to inspire you to aim for a brave new adventure!

And if you think it is just us…watch this ❤️: https://www.mother.ly/news/viral-michael-buble-video-makes-parents-cry?utm_source=rebeccaeaines&utm_medium=partnership&utm_campaign=fbpost

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