When a child leaves the nest, it ain't easy.

When a child leaves the nest, it ain't easy.

Tomorrow my oldest daughter will be moving out. Not to camp, not to college but out and on her own. This is a pretty traumatic event for my husband and I as we only can remember her as our first child, our little girl. Our little princess toddling around in a variety of self-chosen party dresses asking us if she had long hair (nooooo, she did not).

When she was born, I knew that being a mother was what I was meant to do. My biological clock had been pounding and I was more than ready to take on this thing called motherhood. The only thing I was never prepared for was the unadulterated, pure and limitless love I would feel for this child. From the second she was placed in my arms I was totally and completely obsessed.

I took to motherhood like a fish to water - my husband to fatherhood in the same way. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I am a complete neurotic when it comes to my children's safety. No matter how old they are, that will always be my main concern. Health and safety, hand in hand.

So, thinking of her moving to downtown Chicago is not something that I am taking lightly. When I sent her to college I felt some degree of comfort that there were so many kids out and about all the time. Of course she had to call every night to let me know she was okay but that was a college campus. If she had learned anything in her upbringing, it was to always be aware of her surroundings and always travel in pairs, etc. I have spent her entire life teaching her about how to stay safe; driven her crazy with it. I admitted already that I am a total neurotic.

I feel as though we have spent 23 years grooming her for this day. From the beginning we have enjoyed teaching her, guiding her and despite what "experts" say, being friends with her. (You know, that BS about how you have to be a mother OR a friend). We have done our best to teach her right from wrong, encouraged her to be the best she can be and to follow her dreams. We put her through college; spent a nervous summer last year as she lived in New York after landing an internship that we couldn't believe she was chosen for. Or could we?

She has brought complete joy to our lives and our house will be that much less cheerful without her here. She has enriched every day and if we could, we would keep her here always. But, the bird must leave the nest and spread her beautiful wings to grow even further. TIme has flown as fast as I could ever imagine; didn't she just start kindergarten??

My father has always told me that the day I was moving out of his house he wanted to nail my door shut so I couldn't get out. That is under consideration right now as I see her asleep on our couch, realizing this is her last night living under our roof. It's funny how no matter how old our kids get, we always see them as the child they once were. I still see Little Miss Vernon Hills 1995 waving at me from the stage after she won (NO, I AM NOT A PAGEANT MOM), I see her being tossed in the air in a cheerleading stunt in high school. I see her in her cap and gown, being the first in our family to graduate from college. I see, I see, I see....

So perhaps this is not a blog but an ode to my beautiful child. As she steps into the real world, I can only pray each day that she is happy, healthy and safe. I love her forever, I love her always.

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  • They leave? Really? You wouldn't lie about that would you? I'm still waiting for mine to go! Oh that's right. They did leave! It's coming back to me now! They left for a year ... and came back! What?

    But that was my two sons. I would probably feel differently about my daughter.

    Though I long for an empty nest, I probably would feel as you do.

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