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.