Fall. Some may look at it as an ending to summer while others think of it as a beginning and looking ahead instead of back.
Summer ends and youngsters go back to school. For some, it’s a beginning as they enter kindergarten. They will be exposed to different youngsters than they have known in their neighborhood. It is so wrenching watching the last little one leave the nest.
In a very short time they will return and at times call you “Miss something” and you will learn they may have called their teacher “mommy” at times.
You soon get adjusted to that as it is just another rite of passage.
But I found the most difficult farewell is when they set off for college. You miss the loud stereo you complained about. The laundry seems lighter and it’s so quiet with the phone not as busy as it once was. (Maybe I’m behind the times on this latter point as everyone has their own cellphone by now).
You lie awake at night wondering if they’re eating properly, about their choice of friends.
You recall a saying “Water seeks its own level,” and trust this holds true with their new-found friends. Do they miss you as much as you miss the sound of their laughter throughout the house?
You remember when they passed their driving test and received their first license and how you worried when they went solo the first time. You didn’t sleep until they were safely home.
They pooh-pooh your concerns and will never know what it’s like until they have children.
You think of the robin that built a nest in a tree outside your back door. Do they think as you do when they let them fly for the first time?
There are many fine programs on television where researchers try to probe what is going on in animals’ and birds’ minds. We don’t really know and can’t begin to know the heartache they also suffer when their babies leave the nest.
At Thanksgiving when they return, do we recognize them? They have changed so much in a very short time. Can this be the sweet, innocent person who left a few short months ago or is it a stranger, slightly familiar but more mature, who has returned?
But we adjust … life goes on. A new chapter in our Book of Life writes itself.