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on the downward side of the age mountain.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Summer's End

I have been dreading last night since the summer began. It was the night that the Princess went back to her six-digit college. The NSSP accompanied her to get her settled in. He then will proceed to a dip in the sands of Las Vegas for a convention earning the buckaroos for our lifestyle.

The last two weeks I was either basking in her presence or wishing she was “on the jet plane”. But yesterday there was nothing to keep the knot out of my throat nor the tears at bay as my sadness washed over me. There is no mention in child rearing manuals about how to deal with the flight from the coop. Yes, it’s cutely called empty nest but who talks to birds to see how they feel or cope? Going to college is a jubilant event- your child has reached a milestone and is on the cusp of an independent life. But for the parents it is the realization that we are getting old and forced into a change we didn’t foresee.

With two years under her belt, we were cohabitating quite well. There were no curfews. Meals weren’t mandatory, and there was late night entertaining on the lower deck replete with supine bodies haphazardly strewn on the floors of the lower level. Couldn’t this last a bit longer?

And so they left- taken away- to ride the red-eye back east. I was left holding down the fort with plants to water, animals to feed, and bills to pay. It was a hard night. I consoled myself with a Laurel and Hardy Netflix, and thought of my father who loved these comedians.

The next morning, when the alarm broke into classical song I reached across the bed to find Mr. B. Lightyear and not NSSP. I did have things to do. First there was a trip downtown to the library. What better place to “shop” for free! I filled my bag with abandon. If I get through three of the books I checked out that will be an accomplishment. In the mean time they are mine for the stroking.

An appointment for Mr. B. Lightyear’s nails meant a trip to my favorite grocery store. For some shoppers, their blood pressure rises with anxiety at the thresh hold of a grocery store. My CN calls it an allostatic load, a term meaning a time when we are faced with too many choices and become overwhelmed. I on the other hand get an endomorphic rush and my pulse slows as I grab a cart and throw my purse in the baby seat. I sailed through the produce section thinking of the two items I needed- organic milk and orange juice. I grabbed the ½ gallon of milk and then turned to stare at the o.j.

When the other 2/3rd’s are home we have a “no pulp” rule. I was brought up with pulpy orange juice meaning fresh-squeezed and extra good. Somehow this never translated to the other two so gallon after gallon I mindlessly bought no pulp. But now, a glimmer of healing, and shall I say rebellion to this rule crossed my consciousness. I reached for the pulp filled juice and it landed in my cart. Next there were the whole grain boules with dried cranberries and nuts voila la another slam dunk in the cart. Was that turkey pastrami that they all shun? How about a ½ #!

Although there would be neither extraneous noise nor extra mouths to feed I realized I could eat the forbidden lamb tonight with sautéed spinach and watch another black and white movie.

There is always a part of me that pines for the Princess. Her thick dark brunette hair, flashing smile, and ice blue eyes I attribute to her Great Grandfather. I also miss dear NSSP who takes the garbage out and walks the dog at night. But tonight I will regroup with the pets, admire flowers that CN sent to cheer me up and eat family forbidden food.

Maybe tomorrow I'll have crisp sauteed chicken livers flamed in cognac atop garlic mashed potatoes...I think I'm on the mend.


Queen Art-o-Eat

2 comments:

NSSP said...

nice work, it gave me tears

aunty bubbles said...

aw i miss the princess with her thick, dark brunette hair, flashing smile and ice blue eyes too : (