I always get lonely when my daughters leave, whether my eldest leaving with her husband or my younger girl leaving for school every semester. This is not reasonable, since a) I still have four people living in my house, b) I actually have friends other than my daughters, and c) I spend all my time surrounded by people and often wish for time to myself. And I talk with my girls a lot, though not in person.

But it’s just not the same. My female friends are not girlfriends who drop in all the time to chat. They are, like me, grown women with busy lives and families. And the others living in my house, namely my beloved husband and sons, are guys. They do not go to the gym with me. They do not tell me in hilarious detail about their days. They do not join me in making crafts. They do not want to go to the LYS with me. (I guess I shouldn’t blame this on their being guys. There are probably some fun guys out there who would enjoy those things — I just don’t happen to live with them.)

So when the girls leave, I go through some stages. First, I just feel kind of lonely and dissatisfied. Then it hits me that it is because my daughters are gone. Then I think that I should develop closer friendships with my women friends. But I am close to them — it’s not that. It is that I can’t realistically get Fine Soprano out of bed on a Saturday morning to go to the market with me. I can’t expect The Empress to come into my room in her nightie and tell me all about her evening (well, that would be a shock, wouldn’t it?). The Poster Queen and the Party Girl are not going to drop by with ice cream to play Cranium. Let’s face it: I do not live in a dorm.

I wouldn’t actually want to live in a dorm, either. I just wish my daughters were a little closer.