This is how it feels when your kids grow into young adults. I can honestly say that there’s been something to enjoy during each stage of raising my girls. But we are quickly approaching a time where they will no longer need me or my husband, and that makes me feel both happy and sad simultaneously.

I’ve watched my older daughter leave for college and flourish. She is currently majoring in psychology with a minor in women’s and gender studies. As much stress and pressure as she puts on herself, she has still managed to do amazing work, making good grades and earning scholarships. Choosing a school was pretty straightforward for her, and I’m really happy she chose my alma mater! She’s found joy in the small school setting, where she can be a big fish in a small pond. In addition to holding leadership positions in the Honors College, she is now also on the Honor Council, where she gets to hear cases about students who have been accused of violating the Honor Code. She’s also involved in a research project with one of her professors. It’s safe to say that she is making the most of her college experience!

Longwood at night

Now that my other daughter is a senior in high school, we have been touring colleges. She wants to major in environmental science, and her dream job is to be a park ranger. She is having a bit more difficulty choosing schools than her sister did. She loves Longwood, where her sister is, but is intrigued by Old Dominion University for its size and science programs and is completely smitten with the beauty and buzz of the campus at Virginia Tech. She has two STEM day visits planned with ODU and Longwood, so I’m hoping those experiences will help her decide. And I can’t believe that she will be gone in less than a year!

I will lose my adventure buddy. Especially during the pandemic, my younger daughter and I would take day trips to the mountains to escape the stress of being stuck in the house, as the outdoors were not off limits. 

The view from Carter Mountain in Charlottesville

Our last college tour was Virginia Tech last weekend. We went on a whirlwind adventure of the state in 2 days, arriving via Charlottesville, spending the night with family, and returning through Farmville to visit my older daughter. One of our favorite places is Carter Mountain in Charlottesville, so we stopped there to buy apples and a gift for our hosts! And we had a brief visit at Longwood for dinner and a night tour. 

I’m super proud of my kids. I have never had to push them to achieve. They just do this of their own drive and desire to succeed. I’m looking forward to seeing what they do with their lives. This may be the most challenging phase of parenthood… watching your babies leave the nest. 

With both of my girls in Farmville


Lead photo is of my younger daughter overlooking the drillfield at Virginia Tech.

Anyone have any advice for a soon to be empty nester? 

As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.

Published by annecreates

I am a physical therapist, wife, mom, runner, artist, and vegan. I'm passionate about helping others find wellness, speaking about the human experience, and in fighting for social justice. Assistant Coach for the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team. Current ambassador for: Boco Gear, SaltStick, SPIbelt, Goodr, Noxgear, and Switch4Good.

3 thoughts on “Bittersweet…

  1. Please don’t fund offense in this statement. But having been a child myself (which I find many parents forget they once were). I have hard time understanding this concept, not because I don’t have children because my experience was nothing like this. My grandmother who raised me ( thank goodness for the old school), and who recently passed away (98). I was her primary care giver until the day she passed. The day I moved out, I will never forget it, we were standing in the kitchen in front of the sink, I had just finished packing my car, and I asked her “well I getting ready to go, are you upset at all?” She looked me right in the eye and said “no, it’s your turn. I did it, my kids did it, it’s your turn it’s what you’re supposed to do.” And with that I got my keys and I left. I’ve been on my own ever since (except for those occasional grocery trips to their house in the early days) I haven’t been back home, until it was mine turn to take care of her. All of children live out of state. There was no drama, no tears just going on with life. She was always cool like that but she also had a life outside of us as well. But the old school was like that and I’m forever grateful for it and I miss her dearly, even though like me, she was ready to go home. You all will be fine with this natural transition. Peace.

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