I had children.
Those little ones were the light of my life (sorry, DL). I was 'mommy' first, last, and always. I was fortunate enough to stay home full-time, and I made the most of that by taking them to the mall (to play in the fountains and eat at the food court) or the movies (The Lion King is really Hamlet, y'all!) or Polo Park (where I was assured the swings were better than anywhere else). If someone had paid me a nickle for every time I poured vinegar over baking soda to cause a "'splosion," I never would have had to go back to work to pay for college.
But do you know what happens?
And all of a sudden, they're driving themselves to the mall, going to movies with friends, and Polo Park becomes a distant memory.
Then they leave.
Sometimes it's just for the day, sometimes for a month, sometimes for a year...
It doesn't matter. They take what's left of your breaking heart with them.
But while you are falling to pieces like a sodden piece of cardboard, just remember what they were like, those new adventures. Remember the infinite possibilities that stretched out before you when you were young and taking that first sweet bite of freedom. Remember that someone YOU loved was going through the same set of feelings that you are now.
Go ahead. Call your momma, if you are fortunate enough to still have her to call. Call a friend who has been through it. Pour yourself a big glass of whatever it is that you pour when you want to drown your sorrows and get on the phone. Don't text or e-mail...call.
Hang in there, mommas. To everything there is a season, and this is their time to spread those wings and soar. Your nest might be empty, but your heart will never be.