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Point of View: Pre-Partum Blues

Wed, 12/07/2022 - 11:23

“I don’t want to let him go,” our eldest daughter said of her elder son, who in the not-too-distant future is to go to college, a normal progression you’ll agree, but she can’t bear the thought of him leaving.

“I know many parents are probably relieved when their kids leave the house — I know that at times I was difficult — but Jack is a wonderful kid, wonderful to be around, wise beyond his years. . . .”

“A guy I know once told me, Emily, that he threw his 16-year-old daughter’s clothes out the window. I guess he was dropping a hint. I remember Mary was depressed, but I was less so when all of you went off to college. Finally, I had her all to myself . . . until Thanksgiving break. I know what! You can declare yourself a degree-conferring institution and say you’re home-schooling him! That might be a ‘first’ in this country.”

“Yes, Dad, that’s it, I’ll home-school him throughout his college years — that’s a wonderful idea.”

“Somebody on the Talkhouse staff once told your brother when he was a barback there that college wasn’t such a big deal anyway, that it was a place where you learned to look things up. Actually, I’m still looking up things I should have looked up in college.”

“Max is wonderful too,” she continued. “They’re both great kids, they have been their whole lives. They’re not at each other all the time like most other brothers are, they’ve never argued. Well, once . . . once they had a brief falling out, and Max, who adores Jack, wrote a note saying he’d hurt his feelings, and Jack immediately apologized, and it wasn’t a ‘sorry ’bout that,’ it was heartfelt. They’re an utter joy to be with. I don’t know if I can go through this. . . .”

“You don’t want to be standing on the stoop a couple of years from now saying, ‘Bye son, go sow your wild oats!’?”

“No, not at all. . . . Is it strange that I love my children so much?”

“I don’t think it’s that aberrant. . . . Have you considered going for counseling?”

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