Well, we are officially Empty Nesters. Yesterday my daughter packed her things and drove off to her new home, career, life. As she drove off I had a little twinge of emotion as the realization that my little girl was moving out on her own. But I knew I’d be driving up to Sacramento to deliver more of her stuff later in the day so I didn’t feel so bad.
I did just that, and once there immediately clicked into Dad mode, setting about the work of making sure her furniture was put together right, her boxes were brought up, scoping out the neighborhood, making sure she had the numbers of family and friends in the area, finding a mechanic in case her finicky car started acting up.
Then we all went out to dinner and had a great time laughing and eating and enjoying each others company. I remember there at dinner that things had already changed in the last 24 hours. I didn’t feel like I was having dinner with a dependent I was raising, I suddenly realized I was having dinner with an adult who was now supporting herself (even though I paid for dinner, darn it).
But all was good. I figured, yeah I can do this. This is gonna be alright. And then as we drove home it hit me. My daughter wasn’t coming home. Ever. There’d be no text message check ins. No waiting up late for her to get home. No getting up to make coffee in the morning and seeing my kid sprawled out on the couch after staying up late watching movies and eating the snacks I had bought for myself. And I was sad. Really sad.
There’s a lot that goes through your head when your kid leaves the house for good. Part of me is really, really proud of who she is and what she’s setting out to do in life. Another part of me is worried for her safety. The dad in me wants to be there in case her car breaks down or she needs an annoying boyfriend driven off. But what I didn’t expect was that a part of me really wonders if I’ve done enough to prepare her for life. Did I instill enough values and morals into her? Did I teach her enough about God? Have I done the job that God trusted me to do? That’s the million dollar question.
So now we try and adjust to life without her in the house. I’m really missing her today. I know we will adjust but it’s hard, I’m not gonna lie.