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Perhaps being the youngest, our last daughter, K, pushed our buttons, dipping her toes outside the set boundaries and tested the water the most. As a result, we butted heads a lot, especially the last couple of years. We knew it was only a phase, but still it was difficult to deal with at times. In the heat of the moment, many times being the flawed person that I am, I have said or done things that I regretted. K taught me patience.

About one or two months before she moved out in November, she and I had a huge argument where she gave me opportunities and she even asked if I wanted to kick her out. It was so tempting and easy to rid the stress and chaos of the moment, but I refrained and calmly said instead that I was not kicking her out, that she would always have a loving home here, and she could move out when she was ready to do so. Taking the wind out of that sail was tough, not reacting to her poking and provocation was even tougher. K taught me to look at things from different angles.

She did move out with her boyfriend, they invited us over for dinner once they settled in. We were pleasantly surprised that their small apartment was neat and tidy. They were lovely hosts and we had a wonderful evening together. K showed me that she could handle change when she was ready, and she was capable and confident.

It was hard to let go, especially the baby of the family. K reminded me that true love is to let them go, spread their own wings and make their own lives.

All the children, and their significant others, came home for Christmas. I loved listening to them catching up with one another’s lives. I loved hearing the laughter, where only a few years ago, it was constant bickering. I loved the kibitzing and teasing between them, where it was blaming when they were all living at home. This was the first Christmas where we graduated to become empty-nesters, and the kids grew up to be young adults. They really wanted to be with us and we were enjoying and appreciating each other’s company, connections and conversations. Even the two older silbings commented on how pleasant K was since she has moved out. How AWESOME is that? I feel so blessed.

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