What to Expect When You’re Expecting, originally published in 1984 (the year before I was married and five years before I gave birth to my first child), was written with the intention of helping mothers-to-be navigate pregnancy and prepare to welcome hatchlings into the nest.  But who is there to help us as we prepare to empty our nests?  That is the driving, or shall I say, flying force behind expecting to fly…emptying the nest: the mother of intention.

It is my intention to chronicle, every school day, the emotional landscape of preparing my daughter–and myself–for her release into the wild at the end of her senior year of high school.  My intention is to focus my attention on the experience of what I call active mothering, or mothering a child who hasn’t yet left the nest, while doing my own work to prepare to let that child fly.

Expecting to Fly is the name of a Neil Young song, apparently describing the end of a love affair.  For me, the impending end of mothering children in my house feels like the end of a great love affair.  I want to be mindful, throughout this year, to attend to all the ups and downs of our last year in the nest together.

And ultimately, I hope to launch us both into new lives, together and separately.

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