Can you believe 2013 is nearly over,
and we’re in the final throes of the Holiday Trifecta? It’s hard to fathom how quickly a year passes,
how the weeks seem to pick up speed as we move toward December. At the end of each year, as the days grow
shorter, we reflect back on what happened in our lives (and what didn’t). When you hit your 50s and 60s, like Henry
and I have, you start to notice that each year is a smaller fraction of your
age—kind of like a snowball hitting you in the face. For Henry, each year is 1/65th of
his life. For me, it’s 1/57th—an
astonishingly thin sliver of life that bears no resemblance to a pizza pie, or
to a seemingly endless school year with a mean teacher in childhood.
Fortuitously, this is both my 40th
blog post and my last one for 2013. What
will I think of next? (Stay tuned!) Meanwhile, I thought these final dark days of
December would be a good time to reflect on some of the changes in my never-empty
twins, Max and Sarah, are celebrating their 23rd birthday on
December 26th. For the first
time in their lives, my “chicks” will not be celebrating together. Max got
another last minute invitation to go skiing, so he’ll be on a snow covered
mountain in a different time zone from the rest of us. Sarah will be in NYC, but not with her
parents. Sarah’s boyfriend Jake wants to take her out on
her “actual” birthday. The lovebirds
plan to celebrate alone and retire to Jake’s nest. Henry and I are happy for our kids, but also
just the tiniest bit sad. Our son and
daughter are slowly taking flight as young adults should, and it’s nearing the
end of an era for the Elisofon family
still not found a full-time job, though his part time work doing corporate
videos and assisting a talent agent has kept him reasonably busy and provided
him (finally!) with his own spending money.
My son has even reinvested some of his earnings into the film company,
Rory Ellis Pictures, that he co-founded with his dad. Keep up the hustling and networking, Max, and
you too can move from the passé Upper East Side of Manhattan to the now hip and
has lost 33 pounds and is still struggling (like most of the world) with the
last five. She looks beautiful anyway.
While still doggedly following her meal replacement diet, my daughter
managed to handle the stress of final exams, earning three As and a B, putting her on
dean’s list and enabling her to keep her
$8,500 scholarship for her next and last semester of college. Way to go Sarah! Perhaps my daughter’s biggest accomplishment
of all is her relationship with Jake, which has been going on for almost 3
months. This young couple may be on the
autistic spectrum, but they are also in love.
Contrary to the opinions of some “experts,” having an autistic spectrum
disorder and enjoying an intimate romantic relationship are not mutually
exclusive. So parents of Asperger’s and
PDD kids, please don’t give up hope.
Henry, he continues his workaholic ways right through Christmas Eve, although
his law firm is a veritable ghost town. My
husband advised me that he “didn’t need to bill any more hours this year,” but
he was still thrilled when two clients needed him—new work for 2014. Our never-empty nest—like that of most families
in New York—is forever expensive to maintain.
point: our 11 year old Norwich terrier,
Sparky, has made a full recovery from his $3,000 knee surgery in October. He no longer jumps up on our bed, but instead
he puts his paws on the mattress and longingly looks up at me with dark, soulful
eyes. That’s my cue to heave his 17 pound body up onto the bed. Nevertheless, as soon as I lift him, Sparky
has the nerve to growl! Is it possible
our dog—like some people—resents growing old and needing help?
In older age, Sparky has matured from merely
mischievous to ferociously raccoon-like when it comes to the pursuit of
anything he considers remotely edible. Sparky has happily consumed my Orbit
bubblemint gum and Henry’s Ricola cough drops (complete with wrappers) along
with garbage on the street. If Sparky
had to choose between an axe murderer killing the Elisofon family, or a handful
of Cheerios, I’m confident we would all be dead.
of older age, I somehow managed to contract chicken pox in my 50s instead of as
a child. Unfortunately, everything heals
more slowly when you’re older, as evidenced by the four “pox” that remain on my
forehead. My dermatologist swears these
craters will fade away in 2014. He says
I won’t need plastic surgery. “You had a
disease; it takes some time.” I’ll buy
more cover up and try to be patient. But
what about the new wrinkles in my face?
It’s not easy being a woman “of a certain age” in this world, especially
if you can’t afford Botox and/or would like to grow old gracefully (whatever
Maybe growing old gracefully—for
me—means letting go of my children at their pace instead of at mine, even if
their flight seems slow and wobbly or ill-timed. Who knew that Sarah and Max would choose
December 26th—their 23rd birthday—to exit the nest and
celebrate away from us and each other?
And who knew how much Henry and I would miss them?
maybe this is the moment to say: Happy Birthday, Max and Sarah. To new beginnings and happy endings, wherever
they may take you.
Labels: Asperger's Syndrome, autism, birthdays, Botox, chicken pox, college, holidays, meal replacement diet, Norwich Terriers, PDD