Read the whole thing at NRO. Excerpts below. Mona Charen's youngest (of three) son will enter college next year. She reflects on the changes:
In just eight months, Ben will be leaving for college. It’s a milestone for him, but it’s also a transformative life event for me. For the first time in 23 years, I won’t be organizing my time with children in mind. I won’t be thinking about buying (and buying and buying) groceries that include sandwich ingredients for school lunches and the quantities of food that teenaged boys consume, or consulting the school calendar to double check on things Ben must attend to (though, admittedly, he’s nearly always on top of things). Nor will I be e-mailing teachers about this or that. It won’t just be a different schedule; it will feel like a different world.
Why did they have to become such engaging and winsome people? It wouldn’t be so hard to see them go if they were dullards.
Women are so often exhorted these days to seek “empowerment” of one kind or another. Power is fine, I suppose, but is it as deeply satisfying as giving love and support?
I don’t need to consult an adviser about what comes next. I’ll keep busier with work and spend more time with colleagues after Ben goes off to college. There will even be upsides — my husband and I can eat mushrooms as often as we like. But the bittersweet truth cannot be denied: Such fine young men as we’ve raised leave a huge chasm when they depart.