Wednesday, July 6, 2011

1/2 empty nest, day 1.

So this is the day I had hoped for?  
Then why the panic in my stomach and the tears in my eyes?
Why wouldn't the butterflies fly out of my stomach?  

Because my 18 year old daughter is alone,
at Freshman Orientation in Washington, D.C., 
hundreds of miles away, that's why.  

You hope that your child will graduate high school, 
she did.  

You hope that your child will be accepted into a top university, 
she was.  
But with that comes your teenage child moving out of your house, in my case, hundreds of miles away, to Washington, D.C. to attend this university.  She's there right now, only for a few days, for freshman orientation and I feel like I'm holding my breath, waiting for her to come home.

Lorens said, "Come on Bev, let's have a day like we use to have before we had kids", (to try and stop me from worrying, biting my nails and being a nervous wreck like I had been all day).  So we bought a steak burrito cut in 1/2, a 6 pack of beer, and we went to the rocks at the lakefront.  It's at the part of Montrose Harbor where you look across the water at the skyline of downtown Chicago, its beautiful and one of my favorite places in the world.
We sat on the rocks in the sunshine, there was even a cool breeze.  We watched fisherman with their lines in the water,on the pier, relaxing, merely hoping for a bite.

We were at the harbor exit to open water, watching boaters taking their boats out of the harbor for a dinner or sunset cruise.
We therefore, got to judge every boat getting ready to go out onto the lake.  We quietly ranked their boats as we fantasized about which one we would sail away on, one day.  We waved to the boaters from the rocks where we were sitting, and then we all held up our drinks in a mutual cheers to each other.  

Us with our cans of beer, 
them with their glasses of wine or champagne.  

Lorens saw my face and so he continued to try and remind me of good times we had here in the past, coming here to make out circle.  We use to talk about our plans for life, what an adventure it would be, and how we would raise our future children.  We both said we would want our children to go to college.  We wished our children's lives would be an ADVENTURE, not a struggle for survival like ours had been.

So we told our children, don't be like us.
If you apply yourself you can be anything you want in life.  
You can get out, get away, get better, be better. 
If you believe in yourself and work hard.  

And she did it.  I'm so proud of her.  So, I try to tell myself, parents do this all the time.  Their children go off to college and they're OK with it.  They fly away, out of the nest, just like I hoped for when she was a bratty teen a few years ago.  But now it seems to soon.  She's only 18. This is crazy!

So Lorens reminded me that she needs to move on to the next part of life, and so do we.  Its a day to say cheers to each other, celebrate, we did our job, we actually did it and so did she, she got into a great University.

I'm grateful that I have a good husband that reminded me that today is a GOOD day, that our lives are good, that our daughter is at COLLEGE, WHERE SHE BELONGS.   She got a chance to get out and she took it.  Good for her.



UPDATE:  She made it back home safe and sound.  They thought her Chicago accent was funny (What ACCent are they tALKing About?)  She can't wait for August when she goes back for good.  I am breathing easy again.... until then.