LaShon Hill and Kevin Hill posing for a picture together, without the kids.

Just the two of us


And then there were two… people living in this house.

I don’t want to jump up and down and high five Kevin while screaming, “We did it!” but yeah, – we did. We made it out of The Bermuda Triangle of Parenthood – middle school, attitude overload, and high school – alive, and with our marriage intact. (Raising kids is not for the weak and faint of heart!)

Empty bedroom #1

Our oldest daughter’s company wanted her to relocate. Soooo… we helped her move across the country. 

Kevin driving the U-haul full of our oldest daughter's belongings.
Kevin doin’ what dads do… driving the U-haul!
Kevin mounting the TV on the wall in our oldest daughter's loft apartment.
… and setting up the TV

It was bittersweet but exciting. I’m sad that she’s so far away from me. She’s my shopping buddy! (Kevin and his Very Tall Twin don’t understand this life.) But.. she’s got a plan for her life and the move is part of it. She’s happy and I’m happy for her.

Our oldest daughter taking a selfie with her dog.
Our oldest daughter and our granddog.

Empty bedroom #2

We’ve got a college girl! Our youngest daughter is starting her first year of college on campus. This is a huge rite of passage! With her major declared (let’s see if she sticks with the same one for the next four years), she’s checked out my network and Kevin’s network to figure out who we know in her chosen field, and she’s already set up informational convos. This girl is something else!

We were hopeful that her university would move all classes online because, you know, we’re in a pandemic and we live in a state where the number of cases is consistently rising, but nope. There are quite a few in-person classes still happening. We are not happy about that. In addition to comforters, sheets, and cute décor, we also bought masks, hand sanitizer, latex gloves, and disinfectant wipes. We all realize her safety is up to her.

Last Sunday morning, we moved her into her dorm.

Kevin driving a car loaded with our youngest daughter's necessities for college life.
#GirlDad at it again – moving the baby girl into her dorm.
Kevin helping our youngest daughter decorate her dorm room.
… and helping her decorate.
Our youngest daughter deciding she's a better interior designer than Kevin, and taking over decoration duties.
Maybe not.

Classes start today.

Side note: We’ve got a family bet going to determine when we think the university will move all classes online and send students in dorms back home. The daughters are calling it at 30 days. Kevin is claiming 2 weeks. I think they’ll hold out until the Thanksgiving break.

Our youngest daughter poses on her bed in her decorated dorm room.
Our youngest daughter in her new home away from home.

Luckily, the university is less than 30 minutes away, so bringing her back home will be easy.

You know what’s not easy? Preparing your daughters to maintain their identities – and love themselves – while navigating through a world that constantly bombards them with message of how they should look/act/dress/exist. But we’ve done all that we can. Now we have to let them go and trust that they’ve learned everything we worked to teach them. It’s hard, but watching your children blossom and step confidently into who they are, as well as pursue what they want, is magical.

With our two empty bedrooms, you know who the big winner is in all of this, right? Yeah, it’s Kevin. He finally gets his bathroom back after 21 years. (I’ll have to make sure I’m out of the house for that reunion!)

We spent our first official day as empty nesters at home instead of on the beach somewhere. Kevin and I have always said that as soon as we left our youngest daughter at her dorm, we’d hop a flight for a celebration vacation. Sadly, an international celebration vacation is not happening right now. It’s all good, though. We’re back to where we started – with just the two of us.

What’s the first thing you did when all of your kids were out of the house? If you’re not there yet, what are you looking forward to the most?

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