Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Pondering


I've been pondering a lot lately about the future.

At this stage, I've reached middle age, so that means that I'm in the second half of my life.

That doesn't bother me.

I look forward to the future.

I'm just worried about one thing.

You see, I started having my kids when I was young, which means they're grown and I'll be an empty nester soon. 

My daughter is almost 20 and talking about moving out of the house.

And that's what has been on the forefront of my mind.

She wants to leave home.


I moved out at the end of my 17th year, so I'm happy that I was able to have her here for at least a little longer.

Not that she's been home much in the last couple of years.

She's a busy girl with a job, college, and lots of friends that keep her entertained.


I tell myself I'm prepared, even though I know I'm not.

I've even entertained the idea of decorating her room for guests once she's moved out, but it makes me sad, when I'm in the midst of it, and I stop.

I worry about her being ready, because I know I wasn't.

Boy oh boy, I wasn't.

My son moved out when he was 21 and it didn't bother me this much, but I think it's different with a first child, that's a boy than it is with the 'baby' that happens to be a girl.



Remember that scene in the 1990s version of Father of the Bride, when she tells her father she's getting married and all of a sudden he pictures her as a little girl?

That's how I feel every time she talks about moving out or doing any kind of grown-up thing.



In fact I told her that this morning, when she talked about driving long distance somewhere, and she just smiled at me.

I know she's got a good head on her shoulders and I know I shouldn't worry, but I do.

I'm her mother.



She's my baby.



She's my Annie.


That will never change.

I guess all I can do is pray and hope that I gave her everything she needs in order to start her own life.

I suppose that's all anyone can do.



xo
rue




47 comments:

  1. She is lovely, Rue! It's hard, no doubt about it. And even though we had our four over three decades, it didn't get any easier with the last one.

    She'll do fine. You'll do fine, after a while. And there will be so many times in the future to look forward to her coming home to visit!

    Dewena

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  2. I can totally relate to what you're feeling. I am an empty nester now. I'll be 46 on Friday and my kids are 25 and almost 20. My daughter is the oldest though. It was tough when she decided she wanted to move two hours away to attend Florida State University when she finished her AA. But, we moved her up there and she has been there for 5 years. She graduated almost 3 years ago and has a great job. She has a very good head on her shoulders and makes me extremely proud. She is planning to move to Europe this summer. She leaves July 31st. I have had a very difficult time dealing with this. I have had to pep talk myself a lot and remind myself that she is a grown woman and I have to let her go. But, it is so hard! I thought it would be easier to be the mother of adult children, but boy, was I wrong. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers!

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  3. Rue, she will be just fine! You are an independent woman and you've set a great example for her. She's already busy so she knows how to manage things. She'll be good and you will too with time. I promise. ♥

    When our younger son moved out I was lost for awhile and then it was great. Guess what....he came back. The moral of the story is, don't change that room so drastically that it can't be a bedroom if needed.

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  4. We mothers NEVER stop worrying!

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  5. Being an empty nester is da bomb! We love it, but then our children are now 40 with children of their own. My eldest granddaughter has five years of school left and then off to college, and her mom is already starting to fret about the day she moves out. Annie is lovely. She's smart, and I'm sure you have passed along all of the tools she will need to do well out in the great big world. Don't fret.... be happy for her and go do all of the things you want to do for the second half of your life. xox It's a great freedom for the parent when they spread their wings and leave home. Trust me...

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  6. Oh Rue, there is no easy way around this. My girls left the nest around 19, but my son is still around. Girls tend to fly their wings faster I've heard. I feel for ya, I really do cause it's been a long time since my girls left home and I still miss them all the time. It's all part of this circle of life. But please know that you have blog friends who care about you and will be there on those difficult days. Your daughter is lovely, just like you.

    ~Sheri

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  7. The empty nest is a sad, sad place. But it is only one of many stages you still have to go through in the aging process. So far they've all worked out ok for me. I'm sure your journey will be good also.

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  8. I can't imagine. My little guy is only two and the thought still makes me sad! Reading your post makes me want to go crawl into his bed and cuddle with him right now.

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  9. She's totally gorgeous Rue, just like her momma. I feel the exact same way. College is on the horizon and I'm already freaking out.

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  10. She's come to look so much like you as she's gotten older. She probably has her mother's spunk. She'll be fine. Start thinking about all her favorite foods you're going to cook for her when she comes to visit. When my girls grew up, I gave them each a notebook with all their favorite food recipes so they could make it themselves.
    Brenda

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  11. It is hard. My daughter moved across the country when she was 19 "to find herself." She finished school and even got her Masters. Fell in love and is happily married but still there. It was hard at first but it all worked out.

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  12. Rue,
    Your daughter is such a darling! Your feelings are very natural, my family just like yours is your world. It is a challenge to let them go. But you know, they truly come back and the bond you two share will continue to grow throughout the years.
    xoxo
    Jemma

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  13. Your daughter is a beauty---like her mom!

    You are getting a lot of testimonials here. I don't want to be redundant. My baby left in February. She took her bed so I HAVE to make a guest room. It's crazy to wish she were back home--maybe one day she will be but that doesn't help now. It does get easier. Sometimes when she comes to stay I get those old feeling of aggravation and frustration again. lol!

    Best wishes. Hang in there.

    Jane x

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  14. Your "baby" is so pretty! :-) I can so relate to this post, though my baby is male. He moved out a couple of years ago to go to university 1-1/2 hours away. It is STILL hard at times and the house feels very weird without kids around. But, on the bright side, it's peaceful and cleaner. ;-) Once in awhile, Tim comes home to visit - which is nice - but like Jane (above) said, those old feelings of aggravation come back, too! Anyway...your daughter will be just fine. It's mama who's gonna have a hard time. {{hugs}}

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  15. She's a beautiful young lady - like her mama:) Instead of thinking how much you will miss her or worry about her, how about thinking how wonderful it will be when she comes back to visit.
    Blessings to you from one worried mama to another.

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  16. Rue, your daughter Annie is stunning with a gorgeous smile! From reading the comments us mama's hope and pray for the best. Really a never ending cycle. That's what love is, Kathleen in Az

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  17. Hi Rue - Sounds like your wonderful daughter has a great head on her shoulders and is ready to leave the nest - it is so hard to say - yes you are an adult and a beautiful person who is in charge of your own life.

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  18. Ah, empty nest syndrome. An exciting time for your beautiful daughter and a difficult time for her mama. Both of my girls left home at 18 to go away to college and we haven't lived in the same state since. I miss them terribly but I'm glad that they are happy. It sounds like you raised your daughter well so I'm sure she will be just fine.

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  19. Hi Rue,
    you have such a beautiful daughter and I´m sure she will be fine.But I know how you are feeling.When my youngest moved out I felt awfully sad.It gets better with time and I try to see him as often as possible.Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said:Two things children should receive from their parents.Roots,as long as they are small and wings as they grow older.
    Take care and have a beautiful week.
    Caroline

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  20. Dear Rue ~ Your daughter is lovely, she takes after you. You've raised her with love and a joy of life, it's now her turn to step out onto the road of life on her own. You are there for her and she knows that.

    Love and hugs for the both of you ~ FlowerLady

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  21. Dear Rue, I understand your feelings so well. We've let go a number of times and it's never easy. But it's right and normal for our babies to want to leave the nest. It's hard sending them out into a very harsh world, but most of them are resilient and will be okay. I wish I could keep my children safe all the time. But I can't. I have to put them in God's hands and trust Him to watch over them and guide them the rest of the way. He is where we can't always be. That is a comfort.

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  22. Your Annie is a beautiful young woman.

    By now, I think you "have to" joyfully let her fly away, as it were. Trusting that she is ready. Or... Trusting that, even if she isn't "quite" ready, she will make her way, wonderfully, regardless.

    This said, from the perspective of someone whose children are now 55, 52, and 50. :-)

    Gentle hugs,
    Tessa

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  23. I have two daughters. I think they are around 21 years old, but they are actually 38 and 32. They will always be my little girls. I have a saying I share with other mothers of daughters. "We raise them up to be strong, independent young women and then, dammit, they do!" I agree it is different with boys. I have 3 and actually it seemed like I had to push a little to get them to become the wonderful husbands and fathers that they are. Sometimes a little piece of my heart wishesI would have promoted "clingy" for my daughters. (not really, but it is so hard to let them spread their wings).

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  24. Oh, I certain feel for you. I had a terrible time when our daughter moved out and like you we were able to keep her home a little bit longer by having her do her first two years of college at the Jr. College in our home town. They say that the best thing a parent can do, is raise their children to be independent . . . it is the natural way of life to grow to adulthood and leave home. That doesn't make it any easier on the Mommas of the world. I'm sure that she will be fine and that she has a true feeling of love from you and knows that you are always there for her. God bless you.
    Connie :)

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  25. I am sure that all mothers feel like this. Just think though how great it is that you bought your children up so well that they are ready to head off out there on their own!! xx

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  26. I'm sure she'll be just fine...and after awhile, you will be too. I had three boys, so I don't know if it's any harder with girls or not, but boys was hard for me. After all, they are your babies, no matter their age! ;)

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    1. Very true, Donnamae.... thank you :)

      xo

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  27. Im right where you are and it is hard. no two ways about it. pray and love em'.

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  28. She's beautiful Rue! I had a difficult time when my oldest moved out, I cried for weeks. Then he moved back home for a little while. Then he moved out of state...breaking my heart. He was too young. It's funny, after all this time, I still miss him...LOL. I know you have raised her well and she will do fine. We will all smother you with love and our presence so that you won't be lonely when she decides to move out! I will even make funny faces to cheer you up! HUGS!!!!

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  29. Well, with one daughter who's 40, and another who's 38...you never stop worrying. Ever. But the sense of pride sure does continue to grow. :)

    Re an empty nest, all I can suggest is what my therapist suggested when I got divorced (2nd time from the same man.) Instead of fretting over the emptiness, she encouraged me to 'feather your nest'...take positive steps to deal with the emptiness. Pretty up your environment. Focus on the positive, not the negative. Take up an extra hobby or two, too. Before you know it, you'll start appreciating having more freedom. I promise. :)

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    1. Very good advice! You take care of yourself!

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  30. Coming from experience, their will be lonely times but it's all the cycle isn't it? We wanted to be on our own and independent ! Nowadays,we can stay in touch through FaceTime or Skype! The ONLY good thing about the modern world ! I too am old fashioned in heart and spirit! I have raised two children and a grandson who is now 20 and I'm only 57! Yikes! Enjoy the freedom and let go and let God carry them on their journey! Take care!

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  31. Oh, it IS hard. Your daughter is lovely (she looks like you, Rue) and sounds like she has a good head on her shoulders. I don't think our children are ever far from our thoughts...we are mothers after all. But you will get great satisfaction from seeing her grow and spread her wings...making her way in the world. It just takes some getting used to...xoxo

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  32. Don't feel badly, when my son, the oldest child, moved from our house into town, I stood on the porch crying. He smiled, rolled his eyes, and tried to remind me that he was only moving 5 miles away. When "my baby" , our daughter, moved away, the first time I went to the grocery store I couldn't even go in. That didn't make my hubby happy !!, we were out of milk !! All of that was 20 years ago, but it seems like yesterday. They have done well, have good spouses and families and we're blessed to be great-grandparents. Time marches on -- but we still miss them not being home.

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  33. I was a basket case when my son went away to college, but when my daughter went off to college 6 years later, I was ready. Each child came back to live in the last few years, but we are truly empty nesters once again. I miss my daughter because she is 6 hours away, but I love being just Steve and me.

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  34. ..."good parents give their children two lasting bequests...roots and wings...roots to know where home is...and wings to fly off and practice what has been taught"...and I may add...if the roots have been well nourished with love...and the wings made strong with encouragement...they will always fly home...blessings laney

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    1. Beautiful, Laney.... thank you :)

      xo

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  35. Loved reading this post.

    As a mother and then a grandmother your love and thoughts are always with your children ... your grandchildren, your kin ... that never leaves you or changes. Love, growth, warmth, closeness, hugs, letting go ... allowing them to grow it's all part of life's rich pattern. Sometimes it's not easy... our love is always there ... home is where the heart is.

    All the best Jan

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  36. Loved reading this post.

    As a mother and then a grandmother your love and thoughts are always with your children ... your grandchildren, your kin ... that never leaves you or changes. Love, growth, warmth, closeness, hugs, letting go ... allowing them to grow it's all part of life's rich pattern. Sometimes it's not easy... our love is always there ... home is where the heart is.

    All the best Jan

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  37. (((HUGS))) I am just now reading this and getting caught up on your blog. It is hard when the last one leaves home. I remember that feeling all to well. Since we also homeschooled, my whole identity for years was wrapped up in being "the homeschool mom" 24/7. I felt so lost and had to figure out who I was once again. I am happy to report though that once I figured that out, I kind of enjoyed it. My husband and I are now back to being a couple again and, since I am home full time for now, I can rearrange my schedule to make life easier for him. There are more dates, evening snuggled up on the couch watching a movie, walks holding hands. I am also a grandmother now and I love being able to spend more time with those precious grandkids. This next chapter of your life can be a very great and freeing one...I promise!

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  38. (((Rue)))

    As usual, I am late. You have received such loving and wise advise above. Your Annie is as beautiful as you are! I know you love her so much it hurts. I am ahead of you on this as you know with my baby being 26. And I have been where you are though I cannot live your relationship, my heart does so understand. I remember when my Dad said "goodbye" to me when I married and left at 19 and the look he had in his eyes. So proud, so brave, so sad. When our babies leave it breaks our hearts even if we are smiling and encouraging. And it may stay broken for one hour or one day or one month or one year.... but hopefully it mends in the time that it is supposed to. I firmly believe to everything there is a season - and you are meant to feel this season; to grieve, to ponder, to wonder, to heal. When you have done so you will be able to move on and embrace your next season and all that is ahead of you. She will always be your baby - your baby forever she will be - and she will be back. And in and out and back again. And she will need you MORE with each season of her life than she ever did. That I promise you my beautiful friend! She will need you MORE. As she blossoms into all that will be her life she will need her mother. These days of transition are now for YOU. Listen to your heart and be ready for awesome awakenings...... and new beginnings for our Rue. And one day... one sweet day.... there will most likely be a new soul.... a teeny tiny soul that will own a piece of your heart in a way like no other - and you will love like you never did before. :) Seasons come and seasons go and seasons carry us through. Shed your tears, hug your girl, and know that you are not alone and that you are very loved. We can do this. Because we are.

    Love you,
    Me

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  39. I moved out when I was 17, too. And my youngest daughter's name is Annie. Annie was my little girl, until she turned 25 just this year, and all of a sudden she's become a mature, self-assured, capable young woman. She changed and grew so much from age 20 to 25, and I find that I don't worry about her anymore. It was unexpected, and it's lovely!

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  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  41. I think the first time I read Rue's PB&J, Annie was about 13. She just gets cuter and cuter.

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    1. Thank you, Mimi :)

      She grew up so fast!

      xo

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  42. Your daughter is beautiful, Rue! I know they grow up too quickly. My daughter went away to college and then got her own place when she graduated. My son ( two and a half years older) had done the same. I was "lost" for a little while but I then began to enjoy my freedom and my husband and I were happily best friends so we enjoyed doing things together, so that helped. When I began my blog a few years later it filled a gap, and then I began to visit many places in NYC and blog about them, so that encouraged me to get out and do more. Now that I have grand kids and live near my children I am busy again t=with them, which is nice. It all seems to come together at each stage of life. Enjoy the "here and now" and don't fret about the future!

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