Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Empty Nest Syndrome

I never thought I’d fall victim to ENS. After all, I’m not one of those women whose life has been defined by her children. I came to mothering late in life. I have a very demanding career and many interests. And you know what? It doesn’t help.

Yesterday I put Danielle on a flight to Europe. It was traumatic, from so many angles. She’s traveling with a friend, Kim, and they will be spending most of their time either with the various branches of Kim’s extended family or with Danielle’s own half-sister and maybe at one point her dad. Yet I’m still worried. Of course I’m worried. I remember all the scary things that happened to me when I knocked around the world alone (hence the security net of the traveling partner and the various strategically placed family members). But it’s more than that. It’s only been a week since she returned from her senior cruise to Bermuda (when I was a senior, we got one day at a frigid mountain lake!). Then there was the whirlwind of her graduation. Now she’s off to Europe. She’ll be home just in time to pack and get ready to leave for college in the fall. She’s taking her fledgling flights and our lives will never be the same again. That hurts. That hurts a lot.

Sam is spending the summer working for a law firm in Florida, jetting off to Sweden and the Caribbean and god knows where else. She hopes to come home for a week or so before heading back up to Yale in the fall. Yes, I talk to her on the phone every day, sometimes for hours. But I still worry about her constantly and her absence still hurts.

I have this sneaky suspicion it always will. This is the new normal.

3 comments:

liz fenwick said...

Thinking of you.

Charles Gramlich said...

I know what you mean. Even though my son is in Metairie, he's working two jobs and has a girlfriend. I seldom see him and I'm always thinking about when he was younger and all the fun we had. As you say, I imagine this is the new normal.

Steve Malley said...

Turn her room into a den or home gym. That seemed to help my parents quite a bit...

Seriously, love hurts, and I know this can't be easy.