Saturday, July 5, 2008

1/2 Empty Nested


Zan in his last few days as a Minneapolitan. He's now officially a New Yorker.

Oliver and Zan - buddies since first grade - are off to Buenos Aires together next week before they start their "real jobs".

A shop in New York that caught my attention last month. I can't wait to explore these places!


Commencements are in the air....

My son officially moved to New York City yesterday, July 4, after graduating from college in May. He got a job in New York – a dream of his since he was fourteen when he first saw the place. It seems to be the dream of many of his friends and plenty of them have ended up there. How a 22 –year old can figure that out is beyond me. I am 54 and am as terrified as I am excited about living in New York. Maybe ignorance is bliss, after all.

So, I was quite sentimental at saying good-bye to him – even though, with Lee having taken a job in NY too, I’ll see Zan lots more than I saw him when he was in DC in college. “But I can’t boss you around anymore," I said. I went on to tell him, "It is as if we are crossing that magical point in the life of a relationship between a parent and child. For the past 22 years, I have been the “wise one” – my experience has helped you grow. Not to be maudlin, but the time will come as I move toward the end of life, and your experience will help cushion that journey for me. At some point, I may need help with making decisions about my money and housing and my health care." I think this kind of freaked him out. I have done that for him for twenty + years. All too soon enough, he and Izzy will be doing that for me. And we know it first hand as Lee's dad passed away a week ago today and he needed all these things in the end. It is a startling, ravishingly beautiful circle, this life.

That is what struck me as I sat with him on Thursday night.

He wrote me a letter of thanks and gave it to me – a thank you for his education. Of course, I just sat there reading it crying in my vino. It means the world to me that it matters to him. You can only hope. He gets it. He is one lucky kid. And I am one lucky mom.

He called me yesterday after he arrived. "So, how is your apartment?" I asked.

"Small. Very small. I'll need a double bed. No room for a queen. But I have a fire escape and I can put a lawn chair out there and be outdoors." (Only a New Yorker would think that being on a fire escape is being outdoors.)"But I gotta go, Mom. Got things to do."

"What do you mean you've got things to do? You just moved there today." (Was I sounding bossy?)

"I'm meeting Drew Brown, then we're going to Sam Utne's apartment in Brooklyn to watch the fireworks. He's got a view."

"Wow. Sounds like you've lived there for ever," I said. "Cool. So cool, honey."

He'll be fine.

So here’s to commencements. I have my own to enter into now. Lee and I are moving to New York, too. Hmmm...as my hairdresser said...."How clever that you manipulated both Lee and Zan to move to New York - now all you need is to get Izzy there." What is he implying!

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