Soon to be empty nester – A Day in the Life

young girl wearing first day of school clothing from gymboree

October 18, 2020

I’m Dana.
I'm a high school senior and personal branding photographer in sunny Northern California. I help my clients to step into their greatness so we can capture their beauty - inside and out.
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It’s all about the dishes, but it really isn’t…

My daughter is notorious for leaving her dirty dishes in the sink. And it drives me crazy! Does she think it’s my responsibility to clean up after her? Or does she think that I don’t have anything better to do? Because I could live the teenage life and toss my dishes in the sink and walk away. I could call my friends and chat for hours. And I’m sure there’s a Korean drama on Netflix that I could be streaming. See, I’ve got fun things to do.

But something happened today that shook me to the core. It was a typical, boring day. And trust me, nothing exciting has happened here since the pandemic began. We ate breakfast, then my daughter brought her dishes to the sink. But instead of walking away, she washed them. Without me asking. Goodness, I didn’t even know that she knew where the dish soap was.

toddler girl sitting on the ground playing with a kitchenette toy

I smiled and gave myself a virtual pat on the back for being an awesome mother. She doesn’t need me to tell her what to do. Her actions today were proof that she’s growing up. All my yelling and nagging for the past 17 years has finally paid off. I know, I’m pretty sure she’s reading this and rolling her eyes.

So, yay, my girl is ready for college! She’ll be leaving in less than a year, off to start her adult life. I’ll be an empty nester. Oh, that sounds so lonely. And, well,…empty. And just like that, my post-dishwashing enthusiasm was gone, and I felt a little sad. Would I become too lazy to cook and be a cereal for dinner kind of person? Or worse yet, would I become part of the early bird dinner crowd?

little girl riding a bike with training wheels

I could take the high road and talk about this wonderful opportunity I’ll be given to do the things I’ve always wanted to do. Like traveling more. And taking classes at the community center. Going to the gym. And hanging out with my empty nester friends. I guess this will be a time for me to start my life too.

But the bottom line is that my girl is ready for college. And I’m not ready for her to go…

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