Woman to Women
The Goodbye Girls
When Hello means Goodbye
By: Mary Beth Sammons
The postcard arrived last week: In large, red, bold letters it announced: “Emily, there’s life after 543 Juniper Dr.”
Excuse me?! This mail bomb was delivered from Indiana University, addressed to my youngest daughter (my baby), luring this 15-year-old (who has two years left until she will leave me and our dog home alone, thank you) to her next stage – college.
I agree with the message. Emily does have an opportunity to create an amazing life ahead of her. But this postcard is a reminder of the lives hanging in balance as she weighs her college options. Soon Emily will start a new journey, one that I as a parent have always dreamed of for her.
I will too. I will be saying goodbye to my youngest child. I’ve been down this path twice before, with my oldest two. And as much as I felt I was positioning my older children on paths to happiness and opportunities for the future, I remember pulling the empty U-Haul and crying the whole way home.
The postcard promises Emily life after our home. Saying hello to this new path for her means I have to say goodbye to being a mom of kids at home… and hello empty nest. It is bittersweet.