June 13, 2007 Edition

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Empty nest looming

Vivian Heyl
TD Staff

My daughter, Megan, just celebrated her 17th birthday. It is hard for me to believe that she is all but grown up. She is planning for college, a career, a home of her own and apparently moving to somewhere more exciting than small town Arkansas.

She has dreams of becoming a professional photographer and has some talent in that area. I guess she has had a camera around her neck since she was six.

I have been thinking about what life will be like when she finally takes that big step and strikes out on her own. I know that this will be even harder on me than when my first child left home, because this time it will truly be the empty nest.

My biggest dread is that I can no longer protect her from life's pitfalls in even the smallest of ways. She'll be out there taking the lumps and there is nothing I can do about it. But then again the other four of her siblings have managed the transition and have done all right by themselves.

She is smart, level headed and not prone to making bad choices, so I have hope that her transition from my little girl to an independent, self-sufficient adult will be smooth.

No matter how much I dread her leaving, it is the normal progression of life. My dreams for her future don't include living with me for the rest of her life. She has so much to offer, and I look forward to seeing what she will do.

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