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Adding a Baby to a Family Tradition

Aug 26, 2017

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We were standing in line at the ferry dock in Provincetown, Mass., on a glorious, crystalline day last summer that made saying goodbye a bit harder than usual.
“End of an era,” said my daughter Emma, bound home to Brooklyn after our annual summer stay in a rented house on the Outer Cape.
I agreed.
“Next year will be more interesting, but less relaxing,” she said. Traveling solo that year, her husband unable to leave work, Emma was seven months pregnant.
We’ve been making the trip since she was 5, and I always feel a twinge of end-of-vacation blues when our sojourn ends.
We were standing in line at the ferry dock in Provincetown, Mass., on a glorious, crystalline day last summer that made saying goodbye a bit harder than usual.
“End of an era,” said my daughter Emma, bound home to Brooklyn after our annual summer stay in a rented house on the Outer Cape.
I agreed.
“Next year will be more interesting, but less relaxing,” she said. Traveling solo that year, her husband unable to leave work, Emma was seven months pregnant.
We’ve been making the trip since she was 5, and I always feel a twinge of end-of-vacation blues when our sojourn ends.
We were standing in line at the ferry dock in Provincetown, Mass., on a glorious, crystalline day last summer that made saying goodbye a bit harder than usual.
“End of an era,” said my daughter Emma, bound home to Brooklyn after our annual summer stay in a rented house on the Outer Cape.
I agreed.
“Next year will be more interesting, but less relaxing,” she said. Traveling solo that year, her husband unable to leave work, Emma was seven months pregnant.
We’ve been making the trip since she was 5, and I always feel a twinge of end-of-vacation blues when our sojourn ends.

If yours has reached that promised land of independence, financially and otherwise, you know what I mean. After what is often a stressful process, your kid has become a grown-up who has work, a place to live, a circle of friends, perhaps a partner. She has developed an identity; she’s pretty much who she is going to be.

If you’re fortunate enough to be nearby and on good terms, you have arrived at that point where your child is — not a friend, precisely, because she’s always your child. But you can behave the way friends do.

In our case, my late-life divorce meant that we were single women together, though at very different bends in the life course. We could be silly about that, or serious.

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