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I didn’t cry when my daughter left our Connecticut home for a Massachusetts college. I was fine when she later left for California to attend law school. When she transferred to a different law school in Washington, DC, I thought it was really cool.
But this week I kissed her goodbye from Houston, Texas, where we were attending our niece’s wedding. As my darling girl boarded a plane bound for England, where she will be spending her final semester at law school, I cried.
Not in front of her, but after she disappeared through the security gates. Just a couple of tears; no heaving sobs but enough to prompt my husband to envelop me in a healing hug.
I was surprised by my reaction, and by the tears that suddenly reappeared at a post-wedding family dinner later that evening. What was going on? I’ll see my daughter in a couple of months when we take our first trip to Europe to visit her. My reaction seemed so random after all of our other separations, but there it was—a hollow feeling in my gut because my baby had moved away again.
After dinner, my husband and I attended the last family event of the day. About twenty relatives showed up to spend a couple of leisurely hours with the newlyweds. I was so honored when the bride managed to carve out some time with me in the middle of all that celebrating and fun.
Right before her wedding, my advice to the couple had been for the both of them to take a personality test to identify their differences, and then identify strategies for relating despite them. It had worked wonders for my marriage, and I wanted that type of happiness for the newlyweds.
On this day, when the Empty Nest sensation was messing with me, my niece shared a personality quiz she had found online. “Read this, Auntie. See which one you are.”
I skimmed the first two personality types, and shrugged. “I don’t know. It seems like I’m a little bit of both of them.”
She grinned at me. “I know which one you are.” She thumbed through the screen and thrust her phone at me.
The third personality type was made for me. Line after line described me perfectly. I looked at this young woman who I had known since she and my daughter played as toddlers, and the hollow inside me filled with love. It was perfect timing, and the best way to end a day that had begun so dismally.
How wonderful it is to have family in your life who know you and love you, and for you to know and love.
You don’t have to be a newlywed to try this. Find an online personality quiz, and do this:
- You and your honey each take the quiz separately. Don’t share your answers yet.
- Take the quiz again, but this time, pretend to be your honey.
- You and your honey share the answers to the first quiz with each other. Identify your difference and similarities.
- Are you ready for a good laugh? Share the second quiz with each other. See how much more there is to learn about each other.
- Go online and search for ways to make your differences work for you. Be sure to use the personality types as named by the quiz you took.
Here are a couple of quizzes you can try:
Look out for my upcoming “Awesome Mom Communication Handbook” for Moms with Teenage Daughters and follow updates on my website for more tips and stories like this!