Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Ties That Bind

Saying goodbye can be so hard. Sam left for New Haven again this morning, after a week’s Spring Break. She could have spent the week partying with friends who have houses everywhere from Majorca to Paris, but decided to come home and rest instead. We didn’t do much—the time always seems to just slide past and then it’s time for her to leave again. And every time she goes, it hurts. I expected it to get easier as the years passed. If anything, it seems to be getting harder.

Every time she leaves, I find myself thinking of the mothers of all the hundreds of thousands who immigrated to America or Australia from Ireland and Britain, and then from Germany, Poland and Italy. What an unimaginable agony, to say goodbye to a child you know you’ll never see again—a child venturing off to a strange, violent land, risking shipwreck and disease and death. How could a parent ever recover from that?

And then I find myself thinking of my own parents and what they must of gone through every time they saw me off to France or Greece, or Jordan or Australia. I remember missing them. Funny, I don’t remember giving much thought to the fact that they were missing me.

I suppose that’s nature’s way. It’s the way it must be.


Charles Gramlich said...

Yes, I'm sure you're right about the parents missing the kids more than the kids miss the parents. I never thought about it either when I was going off to school or moving to New Orleans. But I think about it now when I don't see Josh for a week.

Steve Malley said...

I left home at 17, eventually landed on the other side of the planet and have never felt more of a selfish prick before now.

Could be worse, I suppose. I could *still* live with my parents...

(image of George Costanza)


Sphinx Ink said...

Classic New Orleans parenting--we hate to let go of our kids. And they hate to let go of us. Hence, unlike people from most other parts of the U.S., New Orleanians usually continue live in their hometown all their lives. New Orleanians who go away to school tend to return to this area to live after they've had a few adventures in other locales.

The pull of family is strong in this culture. As in The Wizard of Oz, our mantra is "There's no place like home...there's no place like home...there's no place like home."