SOL: Marking a Milestone Day

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Yesterday marked our fourth and final daughter’s 18th birthday. While she is still home with us completing her senior year of high school, I can’t help feeling like this was a milestone day. I declared to my colleagues at lunch, “I’m done! She’s 18 – my job is complete!” But we all knew that couldn’t be further from the truth. With three adult daughters not far ahead of her, I have come to realize our children never stop needing their parents.

Still though, I find myself feeling closer to the end of a significant chapter in my life. That which once consumed what felt like my every waking minute, slowly morphed into one gradual release after another, until, just 6,574 days later, I found myself watching my baby celebrate the transition into being an adult.

My identity as a parent feels different – and it should really. I’m just not sure I’m ready to walk into it. So much is behind me, and I’m not entirely certain what the journey looks like that lies ahead of me. I enjoyed being needed. I thrived in the busy comings and goings of everyone’s activities. I even embraced navigating the worries and concerns through every parenting stage we faced.

Yet the journey awaits, ready or not. The remaining days of high school are all we have before she launches out of the nest, so even though she is legally an adult, I am going to try my best to be intentional and savor every day until we send her on her way!


7 thoughts on “SOL: Marking a Milestone Day

  1. margaretsmn says:

    I love how you traveled through this post expressing your mixed emotions, that sadness that comes when you turn the next page to the next chapter. You know the next one will be as good as the last, but…. Empty nest, especially after the last one, is hard. I floundered a bit. Felt I didn’t know what to do. Now a new chapter begins with grandparenting and again I wonder what I am supposed to do. You will find your way, and at least you know Annie is not leaving you. She will always be your baby.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Comforting words, my friend! It helps to have you to watch, and having the chance to see all the joy that lies ahead once I adjust to my empty nest. Change is tough, but there is always something to look forward to in the next chapter, just like you said!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As we took our youngest to college, it was a surreal experience. Here’s the product of 18 years of blood, sweat, and tears (and MANY gray hair), ready to jump into the world. While we only had two, I can relate entirely as to what you are going through! Enjoy those “last times” and welcome the change. We’ve enjoyed the empty nest and will continue to do so! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true! As I type, my 19 year-old is sick in her dorm room, and this mama bear just wants her to come home so I can take care of her! These are the days you don’t see coming after they have left.


  3. My kids are 9, 12, and almost 16… so I almost didn’t click on this to read… because I knew it would make me emotional! LOL… I was right. 🙂 Some of the parenting days have been long… but man are these years short!!!!


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