She's coming home!!
Well, not quite home. And really, if my left-the-nester were returning, that sentence would be punctuated with a period. A flat, resigned, stoic period.
Not that I don't love my kids. I do. To bits. But the whole purpose of parenting is to produce productive, independent adults. And so far, I've produced one of those, with a second in the transitional phase of living in a house with other college students. More adult than living at home, less adult than living... well, like an adult. But he's getting there!
And I am behind this effort. Every step of the way. YAY, adulthood! YAY, independent life! YAY, charting your own course! YAY, finding a career that satisfies!
But those are secondary -- yes, really -- to the satisfaction that comes of having successfully launched a child into the wide world out there, and watching them make their way. I get ENORMOUS amounts of pleasure from this. It's akin to watching them sleep as infants, only... bigger. So, if a child were to need to come home for one (desperate, temporary, traumatic) reason or another, it would be, for both of us, a regression.
So, okay, she's not coming home. But she is moving! After six years of living in a city an eight-hour drive away, Sarah (my eldest) is moving to a city a scant two-hour drive away. I could not be more delighted. It's an easy train trip. Weekend jaunts, either way, become more feasible. And I am totally psyched about helping her set up a satellite business here in Ottawa.
YAY, for kids who move! Closer, but not in.