Always My Little Girl

Tonight, I go to bed with very mixed emotions.  Today, our daughter, Emily, moved out of our house and into an apartment.  Her birthday is tomorrow.  She will be 23 years old.  She moved home last May when she graduated from Nazareth College.  We knew that she would only be here for a short time.  We were glad to have her back home and treasured having this time with her.

Emily has worked really hard over the past year.  She has saved some money and has also made extra payments toward her loans.  She has wanted to be independent.  Part of independence, for her, was moving out of our house and into an apartment.

Over the last couple of days, Emily has packed her belongings.  Today, a friend brought a truck and took all of her stuff to her apartment.  Even though I expected the move, even though I know she is ready, even though she is all grown up, it was hard to watch that truck drive away with my little girl inside.

Mixed emotions.  Happy to see her spread her wings and fly away.  Sad to see her go.  Excited for her.  Worried about her.  Proud of her.  Always, always, madly in love with her.  She is my first-born, my only daughter, my friend.  John and I have learned, over the past year, to treat her like an adult.  She has insisted on it.  It has been hard to allow her to grow up and break free from her childhood patterns.  But she has done it.  She is smart.  She is self-actualized.  She is wise.  Many times, she takes my breath away.

As Emily begins a new chapter in the book of her life, so do John and I.  We are facing the beginning of empty nest.  After Emily left, we cleaned her room.  Scrubbing the woodwork and shampooing the carpet made me feel better.  Her room may be empty, but it is sparkling clean.  Ready for a fresh start.

We will miss Emily.  She hasn’t gone far, but it feels like she is already a million miles away.  We will see her tomorrow to celebrate her birthday.  Happy Birthday, my sweet Emily.  You are a beautiful woman, but you will always be my little girl.


14 thoughts on “Always My Little Girl

  1. Isn’t it strange the way we feel as parents? No matter how old they may be, we still see them as our little kids.
    Yesterday, I went to my grandson Dan’s birthday party. He is the only son of my youngest son. We have always celebrated birthdays with the kids and the grandkids. Yesterday was special, all of my kids and grandkids were together with me. Today, I am miserable thinking that it was the last time in my lifetime that I will see them together. In two weeks, Danny and his family move away to a distant land.
    I am proud of my son and his wife’s decision to leave for a more golden life in another state. I am saddened by their leaving me alone.
    It is my problem, I know. It is my mind that is filled with sorrow not theirs. They are filled with excitement. They see new adventures while I see only grief filled twilight years.

    • My heart is with you during your transition. I can’t imagine how hard this must be for you. My heart was heavy just because our daughter was moving across town. I hope and pray that your sorrow will somehow be turned into joy. I know that I am often surprised by grace and the directions my life has taken. I thank you so much for sharing your struggle here. I know that it is an experience that others can relate to. Peace, Belinda

  2. My Dad told me I would always be his little girl before he walked me down the isle. Your post reminds me of that day.

    I have a few more years with my girls, but it will be here before I know it!

    • I am constantly surprised when I realize how old my children are. I have to think about it, and then when I say their ages, I think “That can’t be right!” No matter what, Emily will always be my little girl.

  3. I have one child, a daughter, and I know what you are saying. Blessings to you and your daughter as the roads move each in different directions, but may the roads intertwine in harmony as well. Blessings, Cheryl/aka Muffyjo on the web

  4. Why is it that we cry at all of our children’s milestones 🙂 Congratulations to both you and John for doing such a wonderful job raising a bright, independent young woman !!

    • Thanks, Becky. She has come a long way from the little girl who needed stitches in her face after her rollerblading accident. Thank goodness Dr. Huang stitched her up so beautifully all those years ago! She never did get the hang of rollerblading, but she rides her bike for miles and miles at a time.

  5. Gosh Belinda,Emily is the splitting image of you.
    Empty nest is very difficult at first I cried every time my daughter left after a visit. But after awhile it gets better and we started doing different things together. We have a lot of fun and the time spent together is much more worthwhile. Its quality time and not just ordinary time in the same dwelling.

    • I know that this is a normal phase, but it is hard to let go. I do look forward to continuing to have a close adult relationship with my daughter. Thanks for your wisdom.

  6. Thanks for sharing this, Belinda. We are facing the very same with our firstborn now 21. Emily sounds very much like her, in fact, extremely so. I might need to give you a call in the not so distant future when our day arrives.. God’s Blessings! Carolann

    • Hi Carolann. I am happy to report that everything turned out okay. Emily is all settled into her lovely apartment and rode her bike home yesterday to have a Memorial Day cookout with us.

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