A Not-Quite-Empty Nest
Movers are hired for Saturday. Now it's just a matter of finishing the packing and cleaning out the fridge. It's a very weird feeling I haven't felt since 2008 when Averie left. I'm overjoyed Caris' new life that she has prepared herself for, worked her ass off for, saved for, and sacrificed for, for the past five years is coming to fruition, but at the same time, she's still "leaving the nest". I'm not as freaked out as I was when Averie moved to LA, and I don't think I'll cry my eyes out for weeks (maybe just a couple of days). But that's only because I know her sister, who is also her best friend is close by, and in many ways, has paved the way. She'll always have her close for advice and wise counsel.
As I did with Averie, I'll still lie awake for a few nights that first week, and I'll still have Charlie holding my hand to keep me from calling her or texting her too much. I already admit to that. I'm her mother after all. I grew that person in my body. She lived under my heart for nine months. People keep telling me that LA is not so far away, but believe me, it's a different world, in a different universe. Especially when your kids are there. Still, even though we're just one away from being certified Empty-nesters, I'm not as jubilant as I thought I'd be. Proud. Very proud. But not quite dancing in the street.
I walk around the boxes lining the halls, the bathroom floor, the garage. This morning when I left for work, I took a quick glance at all of her linens and comforters, neatly folded in zipper bags. Every box has its contents neatly marked. She's meticulous, organized, and has been planning and working on this move for a very long time. She's taken risks I know that I would have never been brave enough to attempt. Many times, I've lamented to Charlie that I think she's putting her cart before her horse. Many times, Charlie has said in response; "Did you expect any less? Remember this is Caris. From the minute she was born, she did things differently. Didn't she? And have we not always told them to pursue their dreams at any cost? To find their passion? To chase rainbows?" Yes, we have. We did. He couldn't be more correct. She's been chasing rainbows since she emerged. She definitely yelled at them a lot to stop running. Funny thing is, I'm not sure she realizes that they seem to have slowed down so she could catch up. That's the kind of magic she wields without knowing.
The one thing I know for sure is that transitions are hard. Getting through them to the bliss is an exciting adventure. It may not seem so while it's happening, but Charlie and I have always had that "EGBOK" mentality. Everything's Gonna Be O.K. The best part is knowing that you always have someplace safe to land. I have Charlie. Caris has us. Even if that safe place is a not quite empty nest.