Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My "Empty" Nest

I'm not even sure how to talk about it.

Let's start with this: Caiden started Kindergarten today.  There.  Let's just pause and let that sink in for a second.

I don't seem to know what has happened.  Yesterday I was a stay at home mom.  Today I am a person at home--alone--having lunch by myself.  Its kind of eery.  It feels a little bit like what I would expect phantom limb syndrome would feel like.  Or is it empty nest syndrome?

This is a new season for me.  As in: I haven't taken the plastic wrap off yet, new.  I hope you'll bear with me as I adjust.  For the past 7.5 years I have been having lunch with one or two little munchkins everyday.  Today I ate alone for the first time.

As my kids have become (relatively) older and (relatively) independent, I have been in for a few surprises.  If you've heard my engagement story, then you know that I am extremely hard to surprise.  Even so, the emotions conjured up by my children have really surprised me.

I didn't expect to feel so proud, so overwhelmed, so goofily giddy and smiley when Caiden came tromping out of those double doors of school after her very first day of Kindergarten.  Its hard to imagine that she can survive without me.  It feels like I've let her go in the deep end of the pool and let her swim on her own.  Is she really big enough to sit at a big cafeteria table and take her lunch out of her lunch bag and eat it without knowing that I'm right there by her side, loving her?  Can she assert herself in a group of people without me next to her, giving her confidence and assurance that she is worth listening to?

And so many other questions flit through my mind as I see her proudly standing there.  And I know the answers, or at least I gather them as I see her smiling and confident.  I'm so proud of her.  But so glad that she is not alone.  I'm so thankful that God is with her wherever she goes.  And He knows her even better than I do.  He knows her innermost thoughts.  She's in good hands.  I'm so thankful.

But I'm surprised when I'm overwhelmed like that, because if you would've asked me about Kindergarten yesterday, you would've gotten a practical answer.  I mean, in my mind its just Kindergarten!  But when it comes down to it...  They're my kids.  That's all.  I freak out when they're injured, I lose my voice cheering when they shake a little bell in the Christmas choir, and I gush when they make it through their first day of Kindergarten.

You made it, Baby.  I'm so proud of you.  You are a Kindergartener.


bekkah said...

aw!! yay caiden. such cute pics, too. el's backpack is pretty baller. haha get it...

lindsey c said...

Aww, these are such good pics! I totally know how you feel... Phoebe just started Kinder too... it was like her whole life flashed before my eyes...! One of many bittersweet good byes in parenting... But also it's sure increased my prayers for them while they are at school! And made me be more intentional about the times when we are together. :)