(or One out the door; One to go!)
My first born, my daughter, Kleoniki, left for college last fall.
Before she left there were times I already felt so lonely for her I wanted to swallow her up and hold her in my womb so we could be close again.
But then I would come out from hiding in my room and try for the umpteenth time to help her pack for her new apartment in Athens.
Reality was quite challenging
Kleo had suddenly become very superstitious. If something fell down or if she bumped into a doorway she would exclaim, “See that’s an omen! It means I’m really not supposed to leave Chania.”
Her father was no help; he was also acting very strangely. He doesn’t handle changes well when it comes to our first-born.
Here’s a short example. The first day of 7th Grade he dropped her off at the brand new Gymasio (middle school). She refused to give him a kiss Good-bye. (Of course, all her new schoolmates were arriving at the same time!) But he was hurt and angry. It took him a long time to understand she was acting naturally for a kid. Well, that gives you an idea of how he was affected by her moving off our island to the Big City! I don’t even want to remember.
I kept trying to help her prepare for her big move. One day I was so angry with her I simply walked out the door and sat at the harbor watching the fishing boats for several hours. The harbor is very near the house but I had angrily left without my keys or more importantly, without my cell phone. No one knew for sure where to find me so I had time to cool down quite a bit. By the time Natalie came to the harbor I was pretty calm and relaxed. I felt her coming and when I glanced behind my park bench, there she was calling on her cell phone: “I found her!”
In general I think the empty nest syndrome is coming to our house just in time. I’ll finish writing my book, read a zillion other books that are now just sitting on shelves getting dusty , sew myself some kind of workable wardrobe, maybe not spend so much time cooking and cleaning. All that sounds wonderful!
For me it’s definitely the transition that is the most difficult. What surprises me is the transition might last for years even though I had everything carefully planned out ahead of time.
If only everyone would let me be the boss. If they would do what I say: everything would go so smoothly!