Last Friday my friend IOMOHR (Incredibly Organized Mother of Handsome Rower) hosted the most appropriate gathering imaginable, a transforming evening with such fantastic opportunities for female bonding and introspection that it almost provided a rationale for all of our suffering of the last few months.
Here is an excerpt from the invitation:
Has one or all of your pups left the den in the recent past? Can you
weep at the drop of the hat or are you available to assure the rest of
us that there is a silver lining to their departure and/or that they
will be living us again in no time?
If so, this potluck/cryfest is for you! Please let us know what you'll be bringing. I'll
supply a big green salad and drinks – and lots of Kleenex!
Almost thirty of us attended, most of us more adept at preparing a frittatta than dealing with our feelings of separation, anger, loneliness and compulsion to "have work done", so we won't look as old as we feel.
Because we shared our feelings in council format, I am bound to secrecy, but I can mention a few of the standout potluck dishes – chicken marsala, potatoes fontecchio, cauliflour souflee, cranberry pudding, apricot galette and two very comforting pasta dishes.
And I do hope that it's okay to bring up one common theme, which seemed to affect at least half of the group. (I know that IOMOHR will be in touch if it's not.) Here's the pattern that emerged: With our newly-found free time, many of us have taken to sitting and reflecting in the unusually-clean rooms of our sons and daughters who have gone off to college. I was thrilled to hear that I was not the sole mom who has adopted this new emotional habit. And in my case, it's even more painful, because not only am I surrounded with the poignant souvenirs of CJ's fleeting childhood, but there is still a pile of items that need to be brought back to Target and Ikea…and I don't know what I did with the receipts.
Oooh, I want to track my tears with you ladies! Chicken marsala? Cranberry pudding? Yum. Do not worry, empty nesters. Consider turning that clean bedroom into your own space. Think about a Zen garden with bubbling fountain, sauna, a koi pond. Believe me, you’ll need something like this to reflect, meditate, and savor your potatoes fontecchio–if they come back after graduation!
My daughter is home for a week of Fall break. I went through some sad times at first, but life got so busy with my younger daughter’s start of the new school year, Jewish holidays and my own business that I pushed those feelings under.
Now that my eldest is home for a week, I realize how much I miss her! When she goes back to school on Sunday, I will be planning my own Pot Luck/Cryfest!