Guys, my baby moved into her own apartment yesterday. It’s official: David and I have an empty nest. We raised our two daughters and they are now adults and are on their own. The last 23 years of our lives have been centered around being parents and we’re just kind of feeling a little lost and disoriented right now.
It’s been a rough week. Watching Kayla pack up things, seeing the boxes stack up, the empty spaces left behind – it was tough. It was really rough when we had to go through it with Haley the first time a few years ago when she went away to college, but we still had Kayla here at home to keep us busy. Helping Kayla move into her apartment yesterday was definitely bittersweet: so proud of her for growing up to become such a wonderful, smart, kind, and responsible young woman. So excited to see her and her boyfriend in the cute little apartment they are renting with their own things; listening to them talk about going grocery shopping and cooking meals and all that boring, mundane stuff that we adults take for granted because we’ve been doing it for years. I’m so happy and excited for the both of them.
And yet, it’s just so surreal that both of my daughters, my babies, who I had the privilege of staying home with for the first 8 years of their lives, who were the center of my universe, who I laid in bed at night worrying about, who I’ve cried countless tears of joy and pride for, who make my heart burst with love whenever I’m with them or think about them are now starting their own lives.
But I guess that’s the point, right? You raise your kids so that they can eventually go off on their own and live their own lives.
And it’s not like the kids have moved far away and I’ll never see them again. I get that.
I woke up this morning and Kayla wasn’t in her room. Her room is mostly empty. The “game room” as we called it, the room where the girls and their friends would hang out, is mostly empty, since we let the kids have the furniture that was in there. I will make that room my office and workout space. That room is definitely filled with lots of wonderful memories and it will take some time to think of it as my office and workout space and not the game room where the kids hung out. In fact, I may never think of that room as anything other than the room where the kids hung out.
A new chapter begins.