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Almost Empty

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Guest blogger Marilyn Kentz: It's funny how your baby can grow up to hate you. Not real hate -- just the kind that makes it bearable to separate. Sort of. It didn't matter how obstinate she had become, when my youngest was ready to leave the nest, I mourned everything.


The last year, her senior year, was especially brutal. I was in a children's store picking up a gift. Standing at the cash register, handing the clerk my credit card I heard the faint voice of a mom singing, "The wheels on the bus go round and round..." Instant, uncontrollable, sorrowful tears shot out from my eyes. The clerk looked away. I think she was embarrassed for me.

I pulled myself together, but the residual feelings of loss remained with me for hours. I no longer had someone I could sing to. I lost the little girl who absolutely adored me. She used to say, "Mommy, when I grow up I want to look just like you ... only without such a pointy nose." When I walked into the house I wanted to pull her on my lap, braid her hair and make buttered noodles for her. She was on her cell phone.

She waved and kissed me on the cheek without missing a beat in the conversation as she slipped out while I walked in. The house was empty. Is this my future?

She's now in college, and the person on the other end of that cell phone these days is me.

Marilyn Kentz is the brunette half of the '90s comedy duo "The Mommies" and author of A Ten Step Guide to Fearless Aging.

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1 comments so far | Post a comment now
Cassandra March 4, 2009, 9:37 PM

My oldest child is only 6 years old yet so he is nowhere near the point of leaving home, but in many ways he has already left the “nest”. He refuses to let me walk him to his class anymore, my name changed from mommy to mom, he would much rather be in his room watching the disney channel than playing with me. What happened to the days when he followed right behind me everywhere I went and wanted nothing other than to have my undivided attention. While at times this was annoying and exhausting I miss it so much. Everytime my son reaches one of these milestones I turn into the biggest crybaby ever and hide from the world for a few days so I cannot imagine what it will be like when he leaves home for good!

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