We took Eustacia back to school last Saturday, so here we are again with no children within our reach. That's no fun.
I clearly remember taking Eustacia to school last August for her freshman year, and it was excruciating. We left her in her dorm and drove home with No. 1 keeping us company. But then the next day, Husband left on a business trip, and No. 1 went back to Columbus, leaving me here in this house all by myself for three days. I could barely stand it.
I dragged out the sewing machine and made some of the ugliest clothes you ever set eyes on. When I thought I was making interesting jackets out of batiks, I was actually making hideous things that looked more like contemporary nurse uniforms than anything I should be wearing.
I held my own with a bottle of Chardonnay, I cooked salmon, and watched all of my favorite Gene Kelly musicals—On the Town, An American In Paris, Singin' in the Rain. Turner Classic Movies had devoted an entire day to Kelly.
This year, the movie channel devoted an entire day to Elvis Presley, like rubbing salt in the wound. I didn't need movies for consolation last weekend, though, because this time is different. This time I recognize that Eustacia is less than an hour and a half away. I know she's content at school and has friends and will manage perfectly well. And I am sure No. 1 will thrive at Berkeley and is just a phone call or a Skype visit away. And did I mention she bought a kitten?
I also know that I'll be just fine because I've got plenty going on without being a full-time, hands-on parent. I spent last year figuring out how to go after things that interest me apart from my off spring, and I think I did pretty well. I tutored Guatemalans, which I'll do again this fall. And I started writing for Small Town Newspaper, which I'll keep doing. I'm debating whether or not to continue horn lessons, but I'll definitely keep playing my horn either way.
The daughters are in their rightful place, even if it feels as if they are wrongfully missing, and all is well. Who couldn't use a little Singin' In the Rain, though, even if you aren't crying in your wine?