Dog's Dinner

"You're not loved because you're lovable, you're lovable 'cause you're loved."

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Empty Nests

There's a sweet Talk of the Town piece in the New Yorker this week about a support group for empty-nest parents. I especially liked this quote:

“I think this empty-nest thing is a new phenomenon,” one weary-looking mother of two said. “I went to a Syrian wedding recently, and they all live just two blocks from each other.”

It certainly seems to me a lot of our societal customs and organizations are designed for families that are geographically united. Actually, the children discussed in the piece haven't travelled much farther than Brooklyn. In our family, though, it's typical for at least one or two children to be on different continents at any moment. Telephones and email and jet planes compensate for dislocation, indeed make it possible, but they don't compensate entirely. In dreams begins responsibility; with freedom comes loss. There's something tempting about living in a large but tight-knit family all under the same roof, even though you know in practice it would be stifling and unbearable to a modern person.

But I'd better get back to work.


At 9:03 AM, Blogger jimeye said...

For awhile I speculated that this was an American phenomena, the dispersed family. I meet lots of people that are seperated from their families by large distances but of course the reason for this is that I live in New York so it is much more common and I come from an Army family so my entire family is spread out from one side of the country to the other. However I do think there is something very American about the empty-nest, at the moment I am not able to fully articulate it . . . be well and thanks for the thoughts.


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