When our kids move out... how much of us do they take?

Is it normal to feel a bit numb?

Is it normal to not look too far ahead?

Am I normal?

25 years ago, I joined a moms and tots group. I was full of new feelings and questions. From others, I realized what I was experiencing was normal, and it pushed me to grow into my new role with a new-found respect and appreciation for other moms.

These last days of August, as our youngest two make plans to move out, I’m doing it again. Wondering silently: “Am I normal? Is this numbness normal?” The future feels a bit muddy. I wonder.. “Is my life’s purpose fulfilled now? Am I home free? Wait. Do I have a purpose NOW?”

I have personal goals and dreams, but when it comes to purpose, I feel like I’m groping in the dark.

Speaking of the dark; I lie awake, wondering “Do they have any clue how fiercely I love them?” I fear they might unconsciously be taking a big chunk of me with them. Come to think of it, I often felt my heart swell countless times as they grew up:

as I saw how much they loved each other;

as I watched them patiently teach children much smaller than themselves;

as I watched them be kind to elders.

I console myself that my heart has lots of love to give away and send with them. That I will still be whole without them here in my kitchen.

I want them to soar; to be happy, fulfilled, and also happy to come home for visits too.

How does that happen, when they need to find their own way, their own wings, their own routines and so much more.

How much time does it take until they return with strong wings?

Am I normal? I’m wondering again. I’m all ears. [And soft heart these days.]