Yesterday we drove Celia, the youngest, a few hours up the road to college. For the first time since we bought this house in 1989, I awoke to no children living in it.
Until this morning the adrenalin carried me along. The list-making and packing, trying to make her transition as smooth as possible. But now the adrenalin is gone. The children are, too.
All the years of other-oriented living, of pushing my own needs aside for theirs, they haven't come to a complete halt, of course, but they have come to a new phase.
I think of those amusement park rides that begin with a slow boat float through a cool tunnel only to shoot riders down a channel of water with a stomach-churning drop and a plume of spray.
What I thought would be easy turned out to be hard. Very hard. And at the end of the ride (the end of one phase
of the ride, I should say), I'm exhausted, curious, wistful.
I'm empty — but I'm also full.
The van on the return trip. Those bags are empty — but the car is full.
Labels: children, parenthood