Saturday, August 23, 2014


     I know, I know - I owe you Rome.  I promised.  But this is a little more urgent, at least for me.  Today my husband and I dropped our daughter off at her dorm room in Manhattan.  Tonight, for the first time, there are no children living in our house.  Nathan is 25, and off on his own.  And now, improbable as it seems, Amy has somewhere else to live too.  Yes, it's just a dorm room, but the fact is that for the first time in 25 years, I don't have at least one of my kids living under my roof.  And what's maybe even stranger is that my husband and I have never lived alone together before tonight.  Nathan was 3 when we met and 5 when we married.  Now, after 20 years, it's just us.
     For at least an hour I've been sitting at the kitchen table, empty-handed, for once not engaged in any activity except trying to figure out what I'm feeling.  And then the metaphor hit me.
     I did the Saturday NY Times crossword puzzle late this afternoon, after we got back home.  It had kind of a weird twist to it.  All of the clues made sense when you read them, but didn't seem to yield any answers that could be filled in on the grid.  Gradually I realized that none of the answers could be deduced unless each clue was modified - at least one letter N had to be added to it somewhere in order for it to lead to an answer. 
     And that's what I'm feeling right now.  All of my component parts (wife, lawyer, writer, etc.) more or less make sense on their own, but I can't integrate them at the moment.  I can't fill in the grid.  Tonight, every part of me is missing a letter.


  1. Thank you, Yvonne. Just trying to slog through. By the way, this post had an extra bonus: the photo of my kids is from Rome! See? I'm working my way up to it. XX

  2. Ah, yes. The empty nest. I hear you--as someone who just deposited one kid at college and came home to another who is a senior and pretty much living as if we no longer exist in her realm.

  3. Hey Jody: yeah, last year we didn't really exist in my daughter's realm either. But she was in OUR realm! That's the crucial difference. By the way, I never got around to commenting on your last blog post, but - that was one stud of an eggplant! (and its stem looked exactly like a little arm, complete with hand)

  4. You get those motion-camera tickets from my car sent to the house at least once a month, so I'm certainly there in spirit!

  5. Just paid an E-Z pass fine for you today, as a matter of fact! And you're right - it's such a lovely recurring reminder of your existence!! XXX