Monday, June 11, 2007

The Empty Nest

31 parents tell the truth about relationships, love, and freedom after the kids fly the coop

I happened across this one while I was browsing at the library and, since I'm still in the throes of empty-nesting myself, decided to give it a whirl. It's a compilation of essays, and the variety of stories and styles keep it fresh.

At least, for a while. After eight or ten of them, a certain predictability creeps in. Youngest or only child is going away to college, parent reminisces on the upbringing experience with a dollop of parent's own upbringing thrown in for ballast. At the end of the day (week month year decade), parent and child adjust and life is fine, for richer or for poorer, with or without spouses, in-laws, grandchildren. Oh, and the writer (funny how all these essayists are career writers--what are the odds?) continues to write, once even converting the now-empty bedroom into an office.

I just can't see myself plowing through the other 21 essays right now. Somehow, I don't think I'll see one where the child runs away on a motorcycle half-way through high school, leaving the empty-nester to convert the extra bedroom into a marijuana farm or an espionage center while launching a new career as Katie Couric or Emeril.

But since the writing is good, I may be back. I just need to remember that I've already read "My Cart," so next time start with "Time Traveler."


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