31 Years, 3 Months, 1 Week, 2 Days

“You’re going to cry when I graduate, aren’t you?”

“Yes. Yes, I am.”

That was enough to satisfy my youngest daughter, Jessica, back in September. She’s the last of my eight children to graduate high school.

She graduated Friday.

We have a few college graduations left, but by and large, the work is done. The time is finished. The investment complete.

I cried, not why she thought I would, but I cried…

Tears of joy!

My oldest son was 31 years, 3 months, 1 week and 2 days the day of Jessica’s graduation.  Since the day he was born, I’ve had child rearing responsibility for kids.  That’s how long it’s been my responsibility.

NOT, NOW!

May 24, Jessica’s Graduation Day, was my Emancipation Day! (It just puts shivers up my spine!)  🙂

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Myself, Jessica and Janet after she walked the stage

They all be hi skool edukated now, and they is all capable of caring for theirselves!

College is simply a major cash outflow! But it’s just money, and now, now the house is empty!

Bring it on, empty nest!  The baby buzzards flew the coop so now we can soar like eagles!

No more plucking out our down feathers to make the nest soft! No more adding twigs to the nest to accommodate chick growth! No more gathering worms and bugs to feed them! No more spending every ounce of energy and effort for the benefit of the brood!

Houston, we have lift off! RabBits 5

From the day they hatch, parents teach their baby chicks how to care for themselves and fly away on their own.

Well, they’re flying on their own. The nest is empty!

I’ve been dancing so much since Friday, I’m sore and think I threw my back out!  But it’s OK, because we can do whatever we want!

Hey Janet, want to go to dinner at 11:00 PM? Sure!  Want to go see a movie on any given night? Sure!  Want to enjoy a quiet evening alone? Sure! Want to go away on a spur of the moment weekend trip? Sure!

And I’ll tell you what else. Now I can walk down the hallway in my boxers anytime I want and not have to wonder if one of the kid’s friends will open a door and bump into me.  OK, I’m still not going to that, but still, I could IF I wanted! Just sayin’!

Please don’t get me wrong! I’ve LOVED raising my kids.  They are awesome!!

But after raising eight, wonderful, children who I dearly love, I promise I won’t be going to therapy for ENS (Empty Nest Syndrome).  Maybe PTSD, but not ENS!

31 Years, 3 Months, 1 Week, 2 Days

After all this stress, I’m qualified to apply for a job as a professional bomb detonator.  Think about it.  If you’ve survived your kid’s teen age years between Jr. High and High School, a bomb blowing up in your face is nothing but a smidgen of concern!  You can defuse bombs as cool as a cucumber! No sweat!

Maybe that’s why God created teenagers?  If children left the house when they were young, innocent and super cute, it would be gut wrenching.  But they don’t leave then. It’s AFTER their teenage years.

They become moody, pimple faced, hormone laden teenagers from the Cuckoo’s nest who still chews gum in secret after you spend half your 401(k) retirement on their braces!  Teenagers make parents want to run away from home!

Lord Jesus, come quickly, but can You wait just a tad now so we can enjoy this a little bit?  Those who’ve been there, can I get an amen?

I’ll just give my own self an amen on that one!!

Fly well, dear brood!  Fly well!!

Oh, and by the way.  If you come over to your old nest one night and ring the doorbell, but then the lights inside suddenly turn off and the TV goes silent, I’m sure it’s just a coincidence!! 😉

Story

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22 thoughts on “31 Years, 3 Months, 1 Week, 2 Days”

  1. Congratulations to Jessica and be ready for College now , parent.. I pray she will always be happy and safe there and anywhere she goes. God Bless you and
    HAVE FUN PARENTS with your newfound freedom, lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That is awesome, Jeff – congratulations! You did it! (For a LONG time too with 8! Wow!) Enjoy your freedom – you earned it! P.S. I just started with the teenage years a little while ago. And I already CAN’T WAIT for them to be over! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Well Jeff, you’re three up on me, we only had five but you are aware that sometimes they do come back. Five out of five of ours did at one time or another and I’m not talking about for just a weekend! But I digress …. enjoy your new found freedom! And yes, I’m smiling!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Our oldest was also 31 when the youngest of our 5 graduated 2 years ago so I can so relate! . But it took me a bit longer to embrace the empty nest. Said youngest is on the verge of moving back in and he’s about a year and 10 months past me being super excited about that. Praying he can continue to make it work on his own because as you said, there’s so much JOY now in the empty nest! Congrats on your new found freedom!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Raising 8 kids through high school and college is definitely cause for celebration…and probably a medal! Congrats to you and your wife on a job well done. Enjoy your evening strolls in those boxers….

    Liked by 1 person

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