I intended to be writing to you from up north, but apparently the roads were terrible and the boys in the band cried, "Don't come, don't come!" So instead I fell asleep on my own couch during an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation . . . the one in which Data is attempting to train his cat, and even asleep I could tell you things weren't going to work out in that regard.
Tomorrow evening Tom and I will watch our younger son make his professional stage debut as the cop who biffs the bad guy in Arsenic and Old Lace. And we've just learned that our older son's summer 2015 internship project--as a camera assistant for the filmmaker Abigail Child's documentary on Emma Goldman--is going to be screened at MOMA next month. They are 19 and 22 years old, and I am full of pride. At their age, all I did was obsess about romance and livestock and Victorian novels.
I've been reading the complete short stories of Margaret Drabble--a very small collection, dwarfed by her enormous output of novels--and thinking again about how good she is at writing about mothers' love for their children, particularly that simultaneous experience of irritation, exhaustion, and amazed devotion. "[She] loved her children with a grand passion. Sometimes, looking at them, she thought she would faint with love."
Yet I was still grumpy to discover the stack of orange peels my son had left on the coffee table last night. At his age, I did know better than that. But some of us are precocious in the art of cleaning up the mess.