Years ago, when I first heard the term Pancake Child, I thought it was funny in a tongue-in-cheek kind of way. The reference is to that primary pancake poured onto a griddle as a test run to see if all is in working order.
Ten seconds ago, you were knee-deep in diapers. And now? That child (or children) are gone. You spent eighteen years preparing your tiny humans for a launch and, in the process, somehow, you forgot to prepare yourself.
I know we are all supposed to be offering odes to our college-bound children. I know, as we see the “time to move out!” pile grow taller, we are supposed to fully lean into our feelings of sadness and despair and question how, exactly, we will move on with an empty bed in our homes. It’s just that I am having other, more happy feelings, as well.
A year ago at this time, we hadn’t yet found out that our child had essentially dropped out of her life. Today, we are preparing to send her out of the nest again and we are hitting all emotions.
Parenting is hard. Why do we do this? No, really. I mean, I know the Hallmark answer...but, really, why?