During the Thanksgiving holiday 2011, I began reflecting on my new parental role as an Empty Nester. Now that my daughter is a junior in college and my son is a freshman in college, I am thankful for a whole new world of things.

First of all, I—a beautiful, fun-loving, witty, very intelligent, overly passionate and level-headed but spontaneous single woman—am thankful that I can now write that many adjectives about myself without feeling embarrassed. After two failed marriages—which I refer to as my two successful tours of duty—and 21 years of being the biggest promoter, most dedicated campaign manager and foremost cheerleader my two children have ever retained, I sometimes forgot who I was.

I’m not blaming anyone but myself for that and I’m not really sure “blame” is even the right term. It was just a state of being; a temporary one thank goodness. What’s important now is that I have ME, and I have two wonderful young adult children, who are NOT perfect by any stretch of the imagination; however, they ARE perfect for me. I truly value that.

For instance, I value the fact that my children have been A/B students all their lives (except for a couple of grade-challenged semesters). I value their high academic accolades in college. I value their involvement with music and the arts since elementary school and the fact that they’ve voluntarily continued it into college. I value the fact that they have not spent one day in the principal’s office for any negative behavior in school, or one day in a detention center or jail for any negative behavior outside of school. I value the fact that they maintain their own prayer life, tithe on their earnings without being told and even at times attend church services (in person or video streaming) without my urging.

So, yes, once I saw my children as being perfect for me—perfect for what I was called in life to do—I then discovered how to incorporate that mindset into the child-rearing equation. That instilled in them the desire to create high value in their own adult lives by their own efforts. It drives them to stretch beyond average and shoot for the moon because they realize in doing so, even if they fall, they will land among the stars.

Finally, I am thankful that I can now dive fully into the writing career I absolutely love. Doing so will not only help swallow up the gap left in my new “kids-free” schedule, but it will give me an opportunity to offer a few words of encouragement for fellow Empty Nesters or those soon approaching. Stay tuned right here for my regular blog entitled: My Empty NEST: a Never Ending State of Thanksgiving.

I look forward to your comments!