Our first one is off to college in roughly seven months. I know from experience, I will blink and he will be gone. It’s so bittersweet and I know all moms can relate. There is the part of me (at least once a week) that counts the days until I don’t have to look at his disgusting bathroom or what I believe is his bedroom, but I’m simply not sure anymore. But the other 99.9% of me knows that he will take a huge part of my heart with him when he goes – and I wonder how it will beat enough to keep me going after he leaves me.
But, like anything else – my husband and I knew this day was coming. We also have a daughter who is a sophomore in high school – so there is only two more years and she will be off too.
But what I didn’t think about until recently – is what are the next steps for us? Every Friday night, my husband and I try to find an hour where we have a glass of wine and reflect on our week. Those weekly discussions have become less about recapping what we have done and more about where the heck we think we will go once we are empty nesters.
We have lived in Westlake, Ohio for close to 10 years. We love it. My winter coat is the Westlake green, my SUV dons the Westlake Booster bumper stickers and our infamous “W.” I have learned so much about being a parent from the parents in this community, and I have grown to love the suburban feel that terrified me when I moved here almost a decade ago from the city of Chicago.
So, there is a part of me that never really thought about leaving the burbs. But our discussions are becoming more and more about how we will spend the time that we will now have on our hands. I love the theatre, art galleries and trying new restaurants in the city. My husband loves the Metroparks and fishing and is looking for a much shorter commute to work (he commutes to the east side every day).
So we have finally come to grips with the fact that we will most likely move out of Westlake – and leave the house that became our home and that was the backdrop of so many memories and wonderful life moments.
It’s harder to swallow than I thought it would be. Now that I know the end is near, I see every nick on the wall as a story and every rip in the furniture as a memento that I don’t want to give up. I know I will miss the squeaky door sounds that used to wake me or the creaky sound that comes on our fourth step that used to scare me so badly. I wonder if those sounds will be quickly forgotten once we move or will I miss them like I will miss my children?
There is a lot I simply don’t know. But I also know it’s time for a change and with change comes new memories and new adventures. I am embracing it and trying to see the positive.
Now the next major question for us is – where will we lay down roots next? Prepare for many blogs about this topic since my husband is pushing for the east side and I refuse to give up my west side zip code. We shall see – but like everything else, I know we will figure it out.
In the meantime, I am cherishing my last years in our home. If I could hug our house I would – this was the place where I first became a mom. These walls have held in a love that I never thought I would have in my life.
And through all the cracks, creaks, nicks and dings – it gave our family a foundational strength that will always stay with me.