Thursday, June 12, 2008

Teenagers teach you how to let go.

When your children are young, you often wonder what it will be like when your darlings finally leave home for college. It gives you the shudders. You can't and don't want to even imagine it.

It happens in stages. And if you have done your parenting correctly, one day you will find yourself alone on a Saturday evening.

It will be the beginning of a lifetime of Saturday nights you will now begin to spend without your children, who've been the stars of your life for the past 17 years.

Nina is at a cafe, having an evening chat with friends. Pablo is at the bowling alley with a girlfriend, dancing on the electronic dance machines. He took a change of shirt and a water bottle.

Earlier I cooked, and now there is a pot of pea soup simmering on the stove, for whenever they want it, to make them happy to return home and to remind them that Mother loves them madly.

The wine you buy at this stage in your middle aged life should get progressively finer and more expensive, because although you drink less, you should drink better. Always good to have an animal around, preferably a dog, but a cat at least. My hearth is the television with a good, vintage movie playing and a humming laptop by my side. Cyberspace beckons with huge ideas and life everywhere. Good books and the sensual pleasure of knitting with exquisite Italian wool.

The "children" will call on their cellphones if they need me. Long after I've gone to bed, they will arrive home, socially sated. The idea of my kids in the kitchen, while I'm asleep, comparing their evenings over hot soup and then going to bed... makes me feel I've done my job well and that their home will always be a happy place in their hearts.

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