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Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance Took Their Twins on 26 College Tours: 'They're Ready' (Exclusive)

The Hollywood power couple is preparing to become empty-nesters this fall. “Our life has been getting ready for this," Vance tells PEOPLE

<p>Lionel Hahn/Getty</p> Slater Vance, Bronwyn Vance, Angela Bassett, and Courtney B. Vance

Lionel Hahn/Getty

Slater Vance, Bronwyn Vance, Angela Bassett, and Courtney B. Vance

And just like that, Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance’s kids are getting ready for college.

In this week's Women Changing the World cover story, Bassett looks back at baby photos captured by PEOPLE when their twins Bronwyn and Slater were born in 2006, calling the sweet portraits “a perfect moment."

Now, their high school seniors are cycling through a new rite of passage: college tours.

“We saw 26 schools, all-day tours at each school,” Vance, 63, tells PEOPLE. “And so they're ready. It's another transition. We went down the baby aisle, now we've got to go down the empty nest aisle and get used to them not being here.”

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Celebrating their twins' 18th birthday in January, Bassett, 65, recalls feeling “just proud of the young adults that they are becoming, the friendships that they make, the maturity that they exhibit. We always sort of told them, ‘The more you do the right thing, the more freedom that you are allowed, that you are given.’”

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<p>Kevork Djansezian</p> Courtney B. Vance, Bronwyn Vance, Slater Vance and Angela Bassett in 2017

Kevork Djansezian

Courtney B. Vance, Bronwyn Vance, Slater Vance and Angela Bassett in 2017

Related: Angela Bassett Opens Up About 'Fight' for Her Oscar-Winning Career — and the Lessons She's Teaching Her Twins (Exclusive)

Today, their kids are “a beautiful combination of both of us, of all that we have poured into them,” adds Vance.

The family of four attended the Governors Awards in January, posing on the red carpet together before Bassett was awarded an honorary Oscar celebrating her body of work. It was another memory made after her children and husband supported her Oscar nomination at the 2023 Academy Awards for her role in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

"It was great to have Courtney by my side and have my kids there, and they were of age to just really take in the magnificence and magnitude of that moment," she says.

Over the years, the children have learned to navigate what it means to have famous parents, says Bassett, whose new season of 9-1-1 hops to ABC on March 14. “Because their father and mother are in the public eye, unfortunately, or fortunately, they have to have an extra measure of discernment when it comes to people, which I think they get,” she says. “They're wise little people.”

Vance and Bassett say they were mindful about taking turns working as their kids grew up. “Our mantra was, somebody's going to be home. We were never going to have both of us gone at the same time and the nanny raising the children,” says Vance, whose mother also lived with them for five years before her death in 2017 from ALS.

As for their soon-to-be-empty nest, says Bassett, “For 18 years it has been about [our kids]. So it’s going to be interesting how we continue to make the effort to connect." She laughs, “I don’t know, we still have the dog!”

Noel Vasquez/Getty Courtney B. Vance, Angela Bassett and their children in 2008
Noel Vasquez/Getty Courtney B. Vance, Angela Bassett and their children in 2008

Related: Angela Bassett Shares ‘Beautiful,’ ‘Full Circle Moment’ She and Chadwick Boseman Had on the Black Panther Set (Exclusive)

And as college approaches, friends have started giving the power couple advice. “Somebody's telling me that, ‘Once you drop them off to school, don't go home, go on vacation, go somewhere, do something,’ ” says Vance. “So you come back with some deliciousness instead of some sadness in your mind and heart.”

But, he adds, “Our life has been getting ready for this. Somebody told me - If you do it right, parenting is the job that you work yourself out of.”

As the children stretch their wings, Bassett focuses on staying positive. “I try not to worry,” she says. “I just try to pray more than worry. But it's always a balancing act for a mom.”

For more on Angela Bassett's life lessons, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE, available on newsstands everywhere now.

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Read the original article on People.