Moving out – Good for them, not so good for me
Moving out and moving on has been an ongoing topic between my sons lately. My knee jerk reaction was far from relief. It was more like searching for ways to keep them hanging around.
The other day I received an airfare alert (Scott’s Cheap Flights) for amazing deals to Europe. I’ve been talking for years now about traveling to Italy to visit a cyber friend who lives there. So many years, in fact, his response to my promise to visit was usually eye rolling and a wane smile over Skype.
So here was my chance… $418 round trip to Italy. First thing I did was ask my sons if they wanted to go. I would pay for everything. Yes, a tall order, but I figured I had six months to come up with the money for it. Besides, an opportunity to be with my boys, their undivided attention, in a beautiful country was one I couldn’t pass up.
But they had other thoughts on the matter.
Back on the ground…
Without much hesitation, they both said no. My jaw dropped. Really? An all-expense paid trip and they turned it down? My oldest had his own trip planned this spring and after that adventure, his bucket list was growing, and plans to be moving on. My youngest said he wanted to do a trip with his own friends. No moms allowed.
On one hand I was extremely proud that they were branching out without me, taking giant steps toward independence. On the other hand, a whole new crop of emotions welled up that put me at a crossroads for my own life.
I could have backed down and postponed my dream of going to Italy for another year until the boys moved out. At that point, I would have no choice but to move forward – or stagnate if I felt sorry enough for myself.
Taking the first step…
Traveling to Europe alone wasn’t top of my list, but I knew if I backed down now, I would be cutting off my own chance to grow into a person I truly knew myself to be – adventurous, curious, and free-spirited – traits that the boys have picked up from me throughout the years. I needed to walk the talk.
But… (deep breath) going solo was a bit intimidating, so I called a friend who was totally on board to go. For that price, who wouldn’t? While on the phone with each other, we clicked the Pay Now button at the same time. Baby steps.
Take flight now, while there is no risk…
I’ve always told my sons, with their mother’s safety net firmly in place, now is the time to branch out and explore, be it with relationships, business ventures, or self improvement. I realize the same principle applies to me. This next year is my opportunity to branch out. Whatever I do, wherever I travel, my emotional safety net is intact. The takeaway – while dealing with my own growing pains, I won’t have the empty nester syndrome to make this a more difficult process.
Booking the trip to Italy was both empowering and a bit scary, but as they say, no magic can be found inside the comfort zone, and this was definitely out of my comfort zone.
So, let the magic begin. Who knows? We all may be moving out and moving on at the same time – in different directions, of course.
Have you started to feel the signs of pulling away? What is your knee-jerk reaction? Please let me know in the comments below. I’d love to know!