Sunday, April 20, 2014

When it hurts to try

I feel completely unprepared for the status quo of family life circa 2014. Years earlier, our merry band of three offspring was a dream come true. Taking care of them brought a lot of joy- perhaps in retrospect, too much. Now, as our two remaining kids at home approach 18 and 16, parenthood has become a painful endeavor. They excel at distance until they need something and then they woo with professional skill. And I determined not to abandon my post, know that they are probably ridiculing me behind my back.

The odds are good that life will deteriorate further until they finally leave the nest. And then what? Frank Bruni wrote the loveliest essay in the Times today about the importance of his family ties and how much they all mean to each other. In truth I harbor secret dreams that my family could function in a loving way but lately that seems as likely as world peace. Instead I seek the solace of my many imperfections. Much easier than co-habitating with these fledgling adults once so easy to love.

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