Saturday, August 27, 2005

December 14, 2004

An end and a beginning...
Today was the Jenny's LAST DAY OF COLLEGE. She took her final final at 11 am this morning. On Friday she graduates Summa Cum Laude. WE are done. College was a family affair here. They went, they moved back at times, they went again, they moved back. DH and I edited papers, checked math and spelling and acted as audiences for speeches, projects, mock interviews and debates. When DH and I had kids back in the Stone Age, we had one goal for them - to raise well-adjusted, good kids who would finish college and start life out on the right foot. We figured the college thing would probably cost us a fortune (it did) and that we'd be paying for years after they were gone (we are, but not as much as we thought!). But the end result would be worth it. We were right.In less than 14 days (that is, in 2 weeks), DH and I will officially be empty-nesters. We have met one of the goals we planned when we got married and decided to have children. I cannot tell you how good it feels to actually meet a long-term goal that, at times, had us tearing out our hair praying we were doing a good thing. At one point, I made this kid drop out of college to take a break. And we weren't certain she'd ever go back. But she did. And she finished. And she has a job, just like the first kid had a job before she finished college. There is such a sense of knowing that we not only did what we planned to do, we did it RIGHT. Jenny is THRILLED to be finished, probably more thrilled than we are, to tell the truth. Which is pretty hard to accomplish because I've been anticipating this for the last semester and so has Richard. Our lives are about to change again, too. Jenny is planning a well-deserved vacation visiting friends and relatives before she moves to her new home and takes up her new job. Richard and I have been empty-nesters before for quite a while, actually. But now, its permanent. We are a close-knit family, but I think we are all ready for this step. I once read in a Nora Roberts book that "healthy birds leave the nest." I have two healthy birds and when the time came, both were and are ready to spread their wings and fly.As one door closes, another opens. Richard and I are downsizing, which is a lot of fun except when the clutter overwhelms! LOL. At the same time, new opportunities are opening for us. We are looking forward to building our new home and doing things that we know we'll enjoy. We don't have to work around kids' schedules or base some of our planning on what they want or need to do. We all have a healthy interest in the world around us, but before Richard and I were only able to pursue our interests if they fit within the context of what the kids needed or wanted to do. This was no sacrifice as we DO have the same interests, but now Richard and I are free to go off on a tangent that interests us. We have the time for it. Life is good.

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