Life, It’s All About Loss, Isn’t It?

Every day, we go through hundreds, thousands of small loses, I’m about ready to burst into tears so I know it’s true. It’s one of those instinctual, hit me in the gut feelings. My grown-up children left to go back to college today and even though I will see them in three weeks, it doesn’t matter. Children always leave you. People you love always leave you. Why is that not written in any manual so we can anticipate it?

From their first highly anticipated step, to their first day of nursery school

and first grade your child will always be leaving you. Yes, it is good and you have done a great job in raising them. You should be proud of their independence and pat yourself on the back. You have done a great job building their self-esteem and their confidence, but it still hurts like a knife twisting into your belly cutting bloody veins with a torture only known to parents.

We experience that hurt from the moment that they are born until the moment we die. Our children will never understand it until they, themselves have babies of their own. Don’t bother explaining it to them, my kids are used to my tears, they think I’m just the mushiest person in the world, and I am. But, in no way do they think that every time they leave I feel like I’m being stabbed or that my heart breaks a thousand different times, every time they leave, nor should they ever know.

You would think I would get used to it but it’s something I can never get used to. I remember my parents used to travel a lot when I was in high school, maybe even junior high and I would weep, standing at the kitchen table, looking down six flights as they stood waving until their taxi arrived.

I was inconsolable until they left. Then, magically, I was quite happy and calm and independent. Why the shift of pain so rapidly? I’m not really sure, I hated being left, abandoned. But, once they left, I was independent and had a great time. Freud anyone?

Once someone actually leaves, I’m fine. It’s the build up and the anticipation that always gets to me, always has. At my old age I don’t think my patterns will change but I always give it a shot. “I’m not good at good-byes” I say honestly to my children, they expect it, they know and understand. But, they will only truly understand when/if they have children of their own.

Maybe we will be lucky to be grandparents, to see our children have children. To see our grown-up kids do the precise things they chastised us for, that would be funny. Life is a circle, how we got so far in the game, I have no idea. I feel young, time escapes us, but as I watch my children grow into adults, I know too, we have aged accordingly.

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*Show Me You Love Me, Bake Me A Peach Pie

or a vanilla coconut cake, or a chocolate cake with raspberry preserves, please.

or buy me one.. How about a last of the summer plum-cake? I would love that too. The way the first bite of flaky, buttery crust feels as it slides into your mouth. The texture of the  plums both soft, liquified, chunky, as they scrape against your teeth. Tart and sweet at the same time. Summer is officially over when you see the first prune plums in the supermarket, it’s a daunting site. For my mom and me, it’s the true symbol that Summer is definitely and completely OVER.

Another plum cake

Another plum cake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Rapture. Heaven. I am a sweet tooth junkie. My husband would be happy with a bowl of ice cream every night but I dream of pastries. This is what happens when you are born to a German mother and an Austrian father. I blame it all on genetics and the fact that I only had jello,applesauce and sherbet for dessert growing up. I didn’t know any other desserts existed.b

Banana cream pie, crème brule, there is no dessert I would refuse. Fresh fruit cup, perhaps? That’s not a dessert to me, it’s a snack. True, also for cheese plate, that’s lunch.

Yesterday, at our town’s farmer’s market I saw a small homemade peach crumb pie that I bought immediately. I was ready to devour it that night but my husband cajoled me into freezing it and saving it for when our son comes home from college for a visit. God knows I love my children more than myself but I had to really think about this. Sigh, it’s in the freezer.

There was nothing there was pure chocolate for when my daughter comes home but I know the exact place to buy her a chocolate-chocolate cake. I could even bake it myself.

Even when the kids were little dessert was holy, we definitely weren’t one of those organic, no sugar, no junk food homes. Having been deprived of snacks like Yodels and Chocolate Chip cookies, Mallomars, Oreos and milk I stocked them for my kids when they came home from school. Their cousins LOVED to sleep over at our house, they came in and dove into our cereal aisle. The only cookie we had growing up was “Social Tea.” I happen to still really like them but on a play date I discovered a junk food group I had never seen before!

Before I get any angry letters from herbalists and organic naturalists, I should say that everything is good in moderation. We don’t eat boxes of any cookie, we’ll eat one cookie or two and we eat fresh fruit and vegetables always. Now that the kids are in college, we tend to eat much healthier.

Dessert is a treat, “no dessert” used to be a punishment in our house. We thought it was a good idea until a few years ago our grown-up children told us it was a complete joke.

Parenthood, you do the best you can, it doesn’t come with an instruction booklet.


 

*This post may not be safe for those who are diabetic.