Some of you have been with my family and I since I started the website nearly twenty years ago. Some of you (eek!) have even written to share that you remember doing crafts from the site as children and that you’re now sharing those same projects with your own kids.
What you may or may not realize is that the site and my daughters have grown up together and that, twenty years in, my little girls aren’t nearly so little anymore.
This fall, Darren and I reached one of (if not THE) most significant moments in our married lives so far. Our youngest daughter had her first day of school! But this time round, the school in question was Dalhousie University.
And with that event, we became… Empty Nesters.
Some of you might be tempted to stop reading here as your kids are still young and this “doesn’t apply to you” but please bear with me for one more sentence. Cherish them, love them, worry about them, resist the temptation to strangle them… laugh, cry, hug and share… photograph, blog and journal … soak up every last precious, stressful, frustrating moment because one day, like it or not, you will be me… watching an amazing young man or woman stride out into the adult world armed with nothing but a smart phone, a suitcase and a handful of lessons that you hope sunk in, heh.
A lot of people say ‘it goes by so fast’ but it doesn’t… not really. Sometimes it’s actually achingly slow (like long nights of fevers and colick!). But something happens now and then where a lifetime seems to condense and the past seems shorter than it really was – for Darren and I, this is (so far) the most major of those moments. We can suddenly see Kaitlyn’s entire life in short form and reminiscing about it has become our favourite coffee chat.
For those of you with older kids… don’t be scared. If you have the means and they have the desire, set them free into the world. Eighteen seems so young to ‘be on your own’ these days, but we know Kaitlyn has what it takes (with a bit of bankrolling from the bank of mom and dad). We trust that she’ll thrive and we know that she’ll give us a shout if she gets in over her head.
So she’s off to live ‘in rezz’ at Dalhousie University… I think of this as the kindergarten of adulthood. No full blown responsibilities yet (the meals are provided!) but with the independence from mom and dad that she needs to prove to herself more than anyone else that she has what it takes to keep clearing those hurdles life throws at us all.
I know she can do this. I can handle it too *gulp*, right…?