The prospect of the empty nest, while raising children, was for me as foreign and distant as the Siberian tundra. Imagining myself without children to care for as my primary occupation seemed at once impossible and slightly seductive -- the idea of my kids off and on their own, while I had hours to pursue my dreams was something I thought about only in the abstract.
When my daughter was in high school, she told me about a college friend who always made sure that if she texted one parent she would also text the other because if she did not, one parent would feel left out. I thought this was ridiculous. Now she is in college. "Did you get a text today?" I ask my husband.