This happened this week. TWICE. Two of my girls moved out and moved on, just like that.

And though we had prepared, focused, and even celebrated, the reality hit me harder than I realized.

In opposite ways. Grief and joy. Once again, those long-time friends that go together and I still don’t see it coming.

Even though I’ve been through this with a few kids already, I could feel the need to grieve. Which seemed strange since they are within a drivable distance and coming back for Sunday dinner.

But I could feel I was missing the familiar. Hearing the garage door go up and knowing they were home. Getting the check-in text of when they’d be back. Gathering for scripture, chats on my big bed, snacks at the counter.

The familiar knowing that when one daughter would go she would invariably come back for forgotten keys, purse, or protein shake. She’d say, “I know, I’m not really gone.”

It’s those opposites. I grieve the shift and celebrate it. The loss of who they are being here, and the gain of who they are becoming there.

It’s accepting the sudden change in our old ways–routines, conversations, feelings.

My 16 yo said it best: “Their spirits are gone from here.” As I walked past the empty bathrooms and bedrooms, I felt it too.

But, in their conversations and excitement, it’s embracing the new – “Mom, I’m ADULTING!” – I have felt a surge of joy and respect and fulfillment that I had forgotten comes with this shifting as well.

And I feel a gratitude to God for letting me go too, to come here, and experience all the unknowns for my good. Having been through this a few times Himself, He’s generously flooded me with peace, love, and joy in the most tender moments.

I’m learning, again, that I don’t need to grieve this time for long because the reality is, they’re never really gone.

Just like my daughter’s return for forgotten items, in these past days they have daily called, texted, and even forgotten things.

Because truly, they’re never really gone.

What’s been a way you’ve eased the transition of a daughter/son moving out?

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