And then there was one

What it means to be a parent September 10, 2023

There used to be three little faces in this picture.

Like clockwork every year. All decked out in their new sneakers, shirts, and backpacks.

But this year, there was only one. Just one, on the first day of school.

As I sit back and think about the past summer and the launch of child number two out into the world, I am also thinking about the launch of child number three into the limelight and getting his parents’ full attention.

Here’s to Samuel! Now it’s his turn. Just like his brother, Tyler, all those years ago on his first day of kindergarten–the only child on the step

Many of my friends this year are joining the Empty Nest club. At a time of great change, excitement, and sadness, we must acknowledge what a feat it is to get our kids through high school and onto the next phase of their lives.

It’s not just a new chapter for them, though, as the focus may lead us to believe. It’s a new chapter for parents as well.

No one ever tells you that once you become a parent, things are forever changing. Just when you think you have the child figured out, they change. Sometimes into a positive phase, sometimes into a more challenging phase.

Regardless, it’s a change, and it’s required that we react to it and change ourselves a bit, or a lot!

I do know, that with only one child at home now, the house feels different now. It’s a little more quiet, it’s a little less cluttered, and after a weekend spent with five incredible women who are all around, in or on the cusp of change due to their children, leaving the nest, I pause.

It’s not easy to move on from this chapter of our lives. All the years of caring and being consumed with the daily routines of raising and caring for our kids suddenly stop. Once again the routines must be changed, and our outlook and our purpose must shift and move. 

Not to go unnoticed, this time should be honored and reflected upon. A child has been raised for 18 years.

Laughter, tears, growing and stretching. No one can understand until they embark on one of the greatest journeys that life has to offer, how empty that next can feel, until it is indeed that, empty.

To all of my friends, near and far, starting this new phase, you deserve love and patience. Grace.

Your life will be full once again, in a different way. But give yourself time.

You just made it through one of the heaviest, most rewarding, and most intense times of your life, growing a child.

Here’s to an ending. Here’s to a beginning. Here’s to being a parent.

But most of all, for me, here’s to the one left standing on the stoop on the first day of school in 2023.

I am so excited for our next chapter, with just you at home, Samuel Grant.

With great love and respect,