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The excitement and heartache of turning the page

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I sigh as I sit outside watching the sunset, the sound of cicadas buzzing in the background. I can smell the burgers on the grill and hear my kids and their friends playing volleyball in the pool. But despite the beautiful night, a wave of sadness washes over me and I feel that ache in my heart ... because this is the last night of summer.

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School starts tomorrow – which means these nights I love so much will be ending and will soon be replaced with homework and schedules.

And this summer feels like the end of so much more since my three boys will be heading to college next week – leaving just their sister still living at home.

There is a shift happening here. A change. A chapter ending. And although I know that next chapter will be beautiful and special and full of new adventures, I’m not ready to turn the page quite yet. I’m not ready for this chapter to be over.

Turning the page means my boys leave.

Turning the page means their bedrooms will be still and quiet.

Turning the page means missing them more than my heart can handle.

Turning the page means facing the end of their childhood and a new season of life.

Turning the page means there will be no more shoes on my porch, no more dishes in my sink and no more late-night talks.

Turning the page means no more “What’s for dinner?” and good-night hugs.

Turning the page means letting them go.

As the sun sets below the horizon and darkness falls, the last carefree summer night has come to a close. Whether I’m ready or not, it is time to turn that page and embrace this new chapter.

And even though my heart hurts with the changes coming, I also feel that flutter of excitement and that whisper of hope – and I have a feeling this next chapter is going to be pretty amazing, too, if only I can dry my tears and summon the strength to turn the page.

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