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A Piece Of My Heart and Words Of Encouragement For Those Of Us Facing The "Empty Nest" Syndrome

A piece of my heart just walked out the door. With a smile and a hug, my grown man/child just said "See you, Mom" as he leaves for his job as camp counselor in the beautiful North Carolina mountains. I hide the tears..tears of pride, joy and yes sorrow ...because my boy needs me differently now. As the song says "I have watched you grow in order to let you go"..WAIT...the song lied! As a mother, do we ever let our child go? How do we do that when they are such a part of us at a cellular level, our heart, our primal love that does not begin to understand rational.

Despite trying everything I can to hide the tear in my eye, my grown man/child asks "What will you do, Mom, when I leave for college next month"? As any of us might answer facing the empty nest syndrome, the simple words "Survive and Thrive" say it all. We fall down on our knees out of gratitude for the gift of the moments. I ask over and over "Can I come every once in awhile to have lunch with you at college"? "I promise to not get in your grill"...My grown/man child smiles "Sure Mom..and out the door he goes..again.

Now, I understand those tears that I saw in my own father's eyes as I left for college at age 17 years old in a completely different state 500 miles away from home. I understand the meaning of loss and growth at another level now.

Yes, we let our children grow and go..and when they are smiling and walking out the door with their head held is because our job has been done well.

That is another meaning of freedom and a word of encouragement to all of us who are facing our kids "walking out the door with a smile and head held high".

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