I'm excited. I'm excited for her, and I'm excited for me. People keep asking me, with serious, frowny expressions, "How will that be?" and I feel too embarrassed to say what I think is true: "It's going to be great."
She's leaving the nest. My husband said today, "She's grown, and has completely filled up the space that we can provide as parents. She needs new space to grow in to."
I know it's true. And I know that we, too, are ready for new space to grow in to; that we can choose how we are going to grow in to the space of her absence; with sadness, or with hope and excitement.
The truth is, I've been trying to write this post for a month, and I just haven't been able to finish it. But now it's time - this afternoon I watched her plane until it disappeared into the clouds. Literally. And I have no idea how I feel. I just told my husband "Forget it. I can't finish that post. I don't have some wise and pithy thing to say to other mothers - I have no idea how I even feel!" He said "That's it. Forget pith. Just say what's really happening. Go ahead. That's what matters." So what's really happening?
It's an emptiness that feels right. That's the best way I can describe it. In my body, in my psyche, it actually feels like the day she was born. Suddenly she's out in the world - she really doesn't need me to survive - (look! she's breathing on her own!) - and I still want to hold her close, but I know she'll never depend on me in the same way, because she's started her own journey. And yes, I feel empty, I feel strange. But I also know that I have my self back, in a new and important way. It's a new journey for me, too. So it's an occasion for joy. Win, win. And still, I'm weeping.