The Empty Nest

It has been a monumentous, yet somewhat melancholy day around my house. The BABY son has graduated from college, started his first job and officially moved out to his first grown up apartment (which means he is paying the rent!)  

The moving van pulled up this morning with the furniture from his college apartment on board, and finished the last load by adding his bedroom furniture from home with a few other household items he might need to get settled.  I so wanted to manage the whole move, but I must say he was really organized and got all of the arrangements made, and paid for this himself!  

I came home from work tonight, walked into the room which now houses a bed frame and all of the stuff he no longer wanted or felt like he needed and spent a few moments sitting on the floor reflecting. How is it that I have all grown children? Where did those years go?  

He told me he left a few things behind that he thought I might want. His Dirk Nowitzki poster, one of his first Dallas Maverick's baseball caps that he would never take off (now fits him like a beanie), his Harry Potter book collection (I've already read them, so why do I need them?), all sorts of college t-shirts that he no longer deemed appropriate. Most of his old trophies from childhood sports events are piled in a box (what do you do with them?) and his bulletin board with high school memorabilia still all intact. Years of childhood picked over and left behind.  Moving on.... 

It is also a big day as it is the first time in many years that my husband and I have not written a tuition check or rent check for college.   It has been a full twelve years that we have funded someone or multiple children in college and room and board. Now that I don't have that to worry about that any more, I guess it is time to save for retirement!  

The only other person that seems to notice the change is the family Labrador. She has really been the youngest son's dog, and I think she too can sense that things have changed. 

When my son walked out the door this evening with a few last minute articles, the dog ran out to his car and begged to go along.  I had to almost pick her up to get her back in the house. Dogs and mothers...... we feel the change. These must be tears of joy as I know the last son has launched.

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