I took Ivy and Conor out to eat a Mamma G’s, a no-frills Italian joint in Henrietta, NY. I told them they could order anything on the lunch menu, so we ended up with enough food on the table to feed an army. They ate and ate and ate. I often forget how tough the first years of living like adults can be, and how proud my son is of his independence from us. They haven’t been starving, by any means, but they have felt financial stress. Most of the conversation centered on familiar turf for me: budgets, expenses, difficult personal relationships with apartment mates, scheduling difficulties. Then there were the triumphs: Conor getting a T.A. position for the spring semester and acing his first creative writing class; Ivy persevering through a particularly noxious group lab assignment.
I didn’t really talk all that much during our long lunch together. I watched my son and his heart’s soulmate, and considered how lovely they are. The corners of their eyes were crinkled from laughter, and though their tired faces were a little too pale from exams and projects, there was so much life in them, clear and glowing right through. It was the best lunch I’ve had, in a very long time.