There is nothing, this side of it simply 'not happening' that can prepare you for the feelings you experience when your child leaves home. As a homeschool parent, that feeling is multiplied because you consider the circumstances:
Did I prepare them well enough?
Are they going to be OK?
Am I going to be OK?
How are their younger siblings going to respond?
These are but a few of the questions that raced through my brain when she began to reach for the door. True, she had been showing signs of wanting to be on her own for some time, but I pushed those notions away because she just wasn't ready. But in truth, I wasn't ready. I was not willing to accept the fact that my 18 year old daughter was a grown woman.
But there is something about living with mom that just takes away their drive. She was working a part-time job at the time. He was unemployed. After blowing through their savings that was supposed to be used for a vehicle, I realized that I was holding them back. Granted, it was not the ideal situation to begin with, but my hindering their self-sufficiency was worse. I had discussed with them, the previous issues and reminded them of his grandparents proposition. They seemed excited about the move, and before I knew it, they were out the door. I had expected them to stay through the New Year and then move out. They surprised me and I was not ready.
After a couple of brief exchanges on Facebook, his parents hopefully realized where I was coming from. I would never have made them move out without anywhere to go. I would not have done that, but I fear, that is what they suspected of me. Given their disdain for my daughter, I could only hope they would grow to love her and respect her for the person she is, and the daughter-in-law she had become.
The fear. The unknown. I cannot imagine how my grandmother felt the day I moved out. If she were alive today, I would hug her and tell her I was so sorry, over and over, and over again. Because now I know how it feels.
However, in all the madness, the chaos, and the crying, they are both doing very well. She finished her first semester of college with a 3.5 gpa and started working at a full time job earning much more than minimum wage! And he found out just Tuesday, that he got the job he had applied for. Both working similar shifts. They'll have a car and a home in no time!
Her father and I couldn't be more proud. Needless to say, the kids are taking some time to adjust, but they are well.
While I had hoped this post would have had some tips, some cliched statement, or some anectdote about 'life', I can only say this:
Hold them while you can, love them often, and tell them how much you love watching them grow. Because in a flash, they are on their own.
Until next time,