It’s been over a week since my son left for college and I still close his bedroom door every night and open it in the morning.
It’s a bad habit I started when my oldest had his first sleepover at a friend’s house. Normally, we close our bedroom doors at night but that night, since he was out, I didn’t think about it. I still remember waking up in the middle of the night, opening my bedroom door and feeling a split second of panic because his door was open and the room was dark. In my fog I thought he had fled or been taken (I was half-asleep and I have a wild imagination, sorry!). Since that night, I always close the doors when the boys are out and open them in the morning.
Of course, now, when I open my door in the middle of the night and see my older son’s door is closed, I forget for a minute that he is not here. And in that split second when I do remember, I feel a little sad.
This will take a little getting used to.
I asked a friend of mine who just sent her youngest of three off to college if it ever feels normal once your kids have left and she told me that you just get used to the “new normal.”
So that’s what I’m trying to do.
I know that moving out is normal, it’s just a natural progression of my kid’s growth, like the shift from walking to running or going from half-day of school to full-day of school (when, naturally, I cried). Every new stage, every new milestone in my children’s lives has required an adjustment in my life of some kind. From sitting to walking, from crying to talking, from home all day to preschool three mornings a week, to elementary school, to middle school, to high school, every stage has required a tweak in our schedules and a shift in perspective.
Still, this stage feels different. Even though every one of those changes was permanent none of them made me feel so out of sorts.
Our whole world seems off right now. Now, we set the table for three instead of four (and yes, I burst into tears the first time I had to do that), we don’t need to buy as much food, we don’t have as much laundry, and our house is much, much more quiet with one kid instead of two.
Right now it feels like something is missing but, we will adjust. Just like we adjusted to having a home with only two people to having a home with three and then four, we will adjust.
But for right now, I’ll keep closing his door at night and opening it in the morning. Then, one day, just maybe, I’ll forget to close the door.
And just like that, that will become our new normal.