We are a year away from our first child leaving the nest. I think about it often because I know how quickly that year will fly. And I do have mixed feelings about it, simultaneously excited and dreading it.
Of course, it will be years before our nest is truly empty, given the age spread of these kids. What will happen first is going from three to an only. Just three years until that becomes a reality. I know they’ll pass just as quickly as the coming year. Time speeds up when you want it to slow down so you can savor it.
I’m trying to savor these few days while the boys are gone. They have lamented the lack of vacation this year. For many years, they were gone most of the summer, visiting their grandparents in other states. The older the boys get, the less time they have for traveling. This summer, they’ve been home the entire time.
It finally dawned on me last week that there was no reason I had to accompany them — or even drive. I mentioned to my older son that he and his brother should just go when his work schedule permitted. Lo and behold, he’s off from Sunday to Wednesday this week. Perfect. (It was only later that I realized that I never ran this idea past Honey. Whoops!)
This is new territory for us, the interstate drive. It’s one thing to watch your kids drive off to the store or cross-country practice. It’s another thing entirely to know they are on the road to a destination 4.5 hours away in another state. Have I told them everything they need to know? Do they have money? A map? Directions to their Grandma’s house? Is the cellphone charged? Can they get along with each other for the duration of the trip, since they can’t be in the same room 15 minutes without arguing?
I resisted the urge to call while they were en route, since they left hours before I got out of bed. By mid-day, when neither had called to say they’d made it, I fired off a text message to inquire about their whereabouts. My oldest quickly called to assure me they were safe and sound with family. And apologized for not calling sooner.