I had come to IKEA expecting to have a European experience. It was, instead, an affirmation of so much of what we take for granted as Americans: low prices, lots of choices, and mindless indulgence in the face of potential safety hazards.
I think -- no, I know -- we are trying to hold onto her just a little bit more as she is the last. The quiet will be complete and overwhelming. There will be no messy rooms to whine and threaten about.
Not that I made terrible mistakes with child one or two. I hope not. But they certainly were burdened with my trial-and-error years. And some occasional misplaced focus. What they didn't get -- for sure -- was a father who realized how quickly the parenting merry-go-round comes to an end.
Starting next month, approximately six million young adults will be heading off to their freshman year at college. To look at it another way, about six million American mothers will be in some stage of meltdown.