Recommended wine for today’s entry: After dropping BOTH my daughters at college on a sad, steamy, summer day … I needed something cold, crisp and containing alcohol. Luckily I had tucked a bottle of Chateau Coustaut La Grangeotte sauvignon blanc from the Bordeaux region of France into my little wine fridge before leaving that morning. It was, as promised, citrusy with a bit of minerality and a lot of crisp acidity. I highly recommend it … and so does this finding from snooth.com: “Rating: Recommended – As reviewed by Today’s Bordeaux on 2010. Rated by an independent jury of US wine professionals as one of the 100 affordable, contemporary Bordeaux (priced from $8 to $35) in 2010. Classic Sauvignon character: green, citrusy, very clean. Enjoy it chilled on a warm summer day.” http://www.snooth.com/wine/chateau-coustaut-la-grangeotte-2009-1/#ixzz0xZEb1nNq.
I have to tell you: Emptying the nest is very, very difficult. Mentally AND physically.
But I’m proud of myself. I survived three weeks of total chaos. The dining room and shed and both girls’ bedrooms were stuffed full of boxes, and lamps, and kitchen tables that have been stripped and stained, and long-forgotten chairs that have been de-spiderwebbed, and the red loveseat with the decorative white paint splatters, which stood on end in the dining room and gored me with its protruding hind leg every time I tried to wedge by to feed the cats (who eat in the dining room…don’t yours?).
I made it through all of the Target trips and clutter and disorganization and more trips to Target and thievery of my pots and pans and the distressing rebuffing of my prized Dansk tableware, treasured wedding gifts carefully saved for the first offspring’s apartment, now re-boxed and banished back to the shed where it will undoubtedly hunker down for the rest of its life or at least until someone knocks its storage box to the concrete floor. I survived all of that — for what?
To spend 10 hours lugging boxes upstairs and compressing all that crap into 1/3 of a 200-square-foot dorm room and a teeny-weeny apartment, all while enduring 95 degrees, 80 percent humidity and sweating through my clothes twice.
OK, here I have to admit that I did the VERY thing that my mother did to me. Yes, my freshman and I discovered that we were wearing matching outfits (black shirt, white shorts) only after parading from the parking lot to the second floor room at least three times. Actually, it was more like five trips because TWICE we got down to the car and I realized I (first time) didn’t have the car keys or (second time) did most certainly have car keys, just not to the car we’d driven. And when my older daughter arrived to check out little sis’ dorm, lo and behold, black shirt/white shorts.
I think families do these little humiliation drills on drop-off day to make the whole separation thing seem like a positive.
Then we got into the car at 9:30 at night, drove home two hours while dodging deer and fighting back tears, had popcorn for dinner at 11:30 (accompanied, of course, by a well-chilled glass of the above-mentioned sauvignon blanc, the highlight of the day) popped two Alleve and climbed into my nice cozy bed, where I was descended upon by two cats, two hyper dogs who had been cooped up in the house all day and the certainty of at least one impending, agonizing hot flash.
Ah, the perfect end to a trying day.
The next day, I waded through the aftermath: Target bags and hangars and decomposing foodstuffs tumped from backpacks and oozing detergent from last year’s bottle and more Target bags and furballs and dustbunnies that had been hiding behind the piles of boxes and storage tubs and the upended stained loveseat. I washed sheets that hadn’t been cleaned all summer because there was too much stuff stacked on the bed to warrant the effort.
All while being followed by the tabby kitty who didn’t know where her sleeping buddies had gone and in her desolation has taken to pulling all the hair off her legs.
So finally I sat down with Huckleberry the hairless-legged kitty and dealt with it.
The nest is empty, but not all that empty. The needy golden retriever mix still won’t let me out of his sight and the Frisbee-addicted black Lab still needs me to refill the water bowl after she blows bubbles and sloshes it all over the kitchen. And the cat with kidney problems still has to be hand fed, a morsel of medicine-laced tuna at a time.
And the TV viewing has taken a turn for the better. My husband will watch the Little League World Series with me, forgoing that god-awful Snooky and the stupid Situation. I have newfound freedom from shows about people with reproduction issues, including, but not limited to: families who can’t seem to stop reproducing; teens who cry a lot raising babies who cry a lot; people who don’t know they’re pregnant until they have a baby on the floor in KMart; and parents who don’t deserve their kids because they put fake teeth and wigs on them and send them out on stage to be made a mockery of.
On the way up to school, I asked myself: If I could seriously turn back time, would I do it?
The answer was an immediate no. Because there is NO WAY I ever want to go through the six months of a kid with a driver’s permit again.
So the only alternative is to move forward. It’s definitely different in the fur-laden empty nest. But I’m proud that we made it through the really tough part.
And they’re coming home for a visit in 51 days.