Excuse my indulgence. These were the shoes I didn't buy in NY. for $350. They were beautiful but I couldn't bring myself to spend that much money, even though they were made in Germany and comfortable as hell. The saleswoman, whose sympathies about the Nov. election won me over, told me their name was Bold. "Time for a change," she kept insisting, "I can tell you're ready for it."
Ready, but not ready enough.
When children leave home, the first year is painful but the paradigm hasn't shifted; things are relatively the same, except, that is, for what's not the same: no crazy kids running in and out, grabbing food or money or explaining in mono syllables where they've been or where they're going, while giving you a whirlwind kiss or pat on the head. But by the second year it starts to sink in: Oh my God, this is it. They're never going to live with you again. Their lives are beginning and yours is starting to resemble daylight saving time: dark by 5. You slap yourself (gently); Okay, you say, gotta get my shit together, can't keep thinking they still need me, which of course they do, but not officially—officially they're poised to move on, to be independent. You feel lucky when they call or talk to you about anything that's not the weather. If they ask, and even when they don't, you give your opinion, which doesn't always go over especially well.
"How are you? Where are you? What are you doing?"
No matter how you've figured it, your life will change. You can't go back to where you were before you had kids, because, well, you're different now, and anyway, it'd be pretty silly doing some of the things you used to do.
(photo credit: Louise Steinman)
You've got to find a way to identify yourself anew, because let's face it, there's very few tasks left you can attribute to motherhood. Oh my God, for the second time, what kept you? In your defense, you trust a late start won't be so terrible— you'll write a book or join the Peace Corp or write a book about the Peace Corp... although you like your bed and don't want to sleep on the ground for two years. But maybe that's the answer; to throw yourself to the wind and see where it takes you. You'll need some luck and a little encouragement. You'll need to be bold.
I knew I should have bought those shoes.