Many of you guys know that my family and I have been going through crazy transitions with our kids growing up, going to college, entering high school and it all happening at once! You’ve heard from me so many times, I thought it would be cool for you to hear from my best friend, my homie, my partner, my wife! She is the glue to the family. And I know her words will make you smile like they do for me everyday. Mrs. Tammy Franklin!
by Tammy Franklin
The day had finally come… The day we would take our baby girl to College. All my friends kept asking me how I was doing. My answer was I’m actually doing pretty good, that I’d come to grips sometime ago that this is what we raise them to do. To some day leave and make their own mark on the world.
Everyone was so impressed with my answer and I honestly do believe it.
But inside I actually wondered myself exactly how I was doing.
You see with our oldest daughter (The girls are eight years apart) I began around her sophomore year in high school stealing away to my closet to have private moments to cry…. This literally happened over two years…. I thought maybe this go around my heart was more prepared, but I also wondered when was that moment going to happen… in fact I was somewhat scared of the moment…. You know that moment that it actually hits you that they are leaving. During our youngest daughters senior year we moved and went through a remodel, so I thought maybe the distraction of the move kept away my tears. The morning of her move in day, I had to make a last-minute run to Target (or as I call it TarJay’). When I returned home and pulled into the garage, “the moment” happened. For some reason, seeing my daughter’s car brought in the floodgates. I privately sat in my car and cried… That was the moment … Or so I thought….. But there will actually be two more moments.
One, as we were leaving the dorm. Another was the day after we moved our baby girl in her dorm…You guessed it, it happened in my closet (it’s something about the closet). In my closet I wept an Erica Cane Emmy award-worthy cry as I laid stretched out on the floor amongst my shoes and purses singing Oceans by Hillsong. I cried for what seemed to be and eternity out of the pits of my soul. I’m tearing up now as I reflect on it.
Then, suddenly, I began to laugh hysterically at myself. If someone had heard me they would have thought surely I’d gone mad. As I sat there on the floor pulling myself together I rejoiced.
Remembering the walk my husband and I took together that evening when we returned from dropping Kennedy off. I talked to him about my fears. It was an intimate, very honest talk of the fear that my role was changing as I geared up for our last child at home and what the next four years would bring now that our son was entering high school. My primary role — and I believe calling — has been wife and mother.
The wife part I’m pretty good at, but the mother role … that’s were I really shine. My husband who was adopted at the age of four often tells me how amazing of a mother I am. For the last 20 years of marriage it’s a role/job that I’ve taken much pride in. Now, in four years, I thought to myself, it’s going to completely change.
I shared with my Husband how I honestly didn’t know how to dream beyond he and the kids. That it was a new concept for me to think about myself! I was very intimidated by the idea, but also excited about it!
As we talked, I looked into my husbands eyes and realized he was my friend and that I wasn’t on this journey alone. Suddenly, I got reassurance that we have put in the work that has sustained us as we prepared to empty our nest over the next four years. I was so relieved! We placed our marriage above anything and – yes – we love our kids, but we were each other’s number one priority.
All of a sudden I realized the counseling, sticking it out, putting in the hard work, the commitment to date nights, and working on having good and open communication… it was all paying off! It all helped us to prepare for this very moment…. preparing us for a life together beyond our children.
Kirk and I often look at couples sitting across from each other in a restaurant not speaking to one another and we’re saddened.
We assume, if they have children once the children are gone, the relationship would probably diminish.
As I pulled myself together in my closet I was so thankful. Although the next four years I’ll be preparing myself for change, it won’t be a journey alone…it will be one with my best friend by my side rooting me on.
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