“The guys want to hang out,” said our 26-year-old son after breakfast Christmas morning. “So, do you need me around for any . . .” he looked at me as he annunciated, “traditions?” Rob and I exchanged looks. We exchanged more looks than presents that Christmas. Of course, we expected the children to begin pulling away as they grew up, but we were still caught off guard when the holidays rolled around that year. “Sure, son,” my husband said. “Have a good time.” Because, really, what else could we say? It’s the bittersweet truth that we raise our children so they will leave. But that Christmas Rob and I found ourselves sitting in stunned silence, flipping channels, and napping.