Fall represents a special time of change. A fresh academic year begins for students, and many young adults head off to college. We have had two community members share their reflections about this transition. The first, a poignant piece by Cathy Catterson, can be found here.
The second, posted below for the first time, is a touching yet lighthearted reflection on the “empty nest” experience. Thank you to our community contributors!
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I have been reminded of a several important things since my youngest daughter went off to college for the first time a mere 48 hours ago. Here are but a few:
1. We actually have 6 laundry baskets. Yes, 6. Never before have I been able to locate them all, and actually find them all empty. Who knew we had 6? And who knew that they could all be empty at the same time?
2. Along the same lines, we actually have at least 4 home phones. And I know where they all are—right where they belong. I am not too happy about this one, as I have lost any excuse to avoid answering the phone.
3. A house is definitely more vibrant with kids of any age in it. That is a fact. It is also more cluttered and has “better” food.
4. Cats are not loyal. If their “beloved” leaves, they quickly find another—me. Suddenly, I am like the cat whisperer. They used to run away. Now they follow me. Everywhere.
5. While my memory sometimes seems a bit off, I suddenly am able to remember some special (yet ordinary) moment with one of my daughters at every turn. I can picture them at just about every age, and have a story to go with it. Just walking down the supermarket aisles and seeing all the foods that I used to buy for them (see #3) brings back so many memories.
6. Feelings can be so conflicting. I couldn’t be more proud of and happy for both of my children. I believe in them, and know that they will find their way. And yet, letting go is not easy, even when you know that it is healthy, necessary and right.
I know with time, we will all adjust to this change, and find the positive in it. But in the meantime, you know where to find me.
I’ll be with the cats.