I am here at IAH on a Sunday morning, sitting at the departure gate two hours early. I check my Facebook feed for the first time in days and like all the likes. I listen to the pop music coming from the overhead speakers and the clink of glasses and silverware from the restaurant next to the gate.

My youngest child graduated from high school this week.

As I contemplated the approaching event and planned my trip, I felt sure, somewhere in the back of my mind, that, at some point,  I would get emotional.  I even considered the possibility that I might ruin all the graduation fun with tears and maybe some wailing. The week before I left, I did cry quite a lot.

But when I got to Louisiana, and saw the grandson and my children and parents, and spent time eating and talking and swinging on the porch, my grief disappeared. I felt happy and calm.

My mothering journey began forty years ago, almost exactly.  It has involved many ups and downs and many, many twists and turns. It will never end, until I die.

Now, I have officially entered a new phase.

Apparently there is an adjustment period and symptoms associated with this part of parenthood. There is even a name for it: Empty Nest Syndrome.

I don’t think I’m going to have it.

My youngest is independent and self-sufficient. He has already been working for years. He has a plan for his immediate future and he’s taking steps to implement his plan. I am concerned about him and his siblings on many levels, but I am not worrying about them.

I have just started a new career, myself, and I am learning something every single day. I also have plans for my future, and I’m taking steps to implement them.

My nest may be empty, but my life is not.

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