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Gross Point Blank

Not crazy about my empty nest

It never fails: every time my son goes to visit his dad, I'm at first elated by the solitude, then thoroughly bummed out within a matter of hours.

Dennis traveled to Federal Way last Friday to spend a week with his father and I'm lonesome in the wierdest way without him.

I'm not even sure what, exactly, it is that makes me long for his company.

I know that I've gotten used to Denny's chatter. He gets very excited when I come home from work and talks a mile a minute. Simply put, my kid's happy to see me.

When he's wrong, almost always after he's cooled off he'll say, "You're right. I know I'm wrong and I'm sorry I talked to you that way."

Often times, he'll holler, "Mom, come look and see what I just did in my video game!" Video games aren't my thing, but who can refuse such enthusiasm?

When the latest Harry Potter book was released, Denny read it first, then I did. I was constantly met with interruptive questions: "Where are you in the book? Has this happened yet? Has that?" My answer was always the same. "Son, I'm in this chapter and please let me just read my book!"

Dennis was dropped off early Friday evening. I missed him by bedtime. Saturday morning, I just wanted to call and make sure he was having fun.

And every day, it's the same old thing, the same old longing. I'll start to wonder what he might want for dinner and then realize I'm not the one that has to feed him this week.

There've been times where Dennis has left to go stay somewhere for more than a night and I sit and twiddle my thumbs, wondering obsessively how he's doing.

I haven't twiddled my thumbs yet, but I'm doing all that I can not to pick up the phone and mother-bomb him with questions.

Next time I write a personal column about that kid's inability to grasp the "because I said so" concept, I'm going to remind myself what it's like when he's not here: lonesome and longing.

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