Failure to Let Go

I chair a department that offers 8 languages.

I’m developing three new courses for the next academic year.

I work as a translator and interpreter.

I’m writing a book in Ukrainian.

I’m writing an article in Spanish.

I’m writing a book chapter in English.

I serve on the executive board of two scholarly associations.

I do a lot of public speaking.

I read voraciously in 4 languages.

I take online classes in Spain and Ukraine.

I paint.

I cook.

I have an intense relationship with my husband.

And with all this, I’m still struggling with letting Klara go as she enters the first major stage of separation. I’m aware that I struggle, which by itself guarantees that I won’t torture her too much with my resistance. The scary situations are when the mother doesn’t struggle because she internally forbade the separation.

We hear a lot of talk about young people’s failure to launch but it’s not their failure. Nor is it the fault of the “bad economy” because nobody heard of this issue in, say, Dickensian England with its much harsher economic circumstances. It’s the failure of parents to let go. I’m saying honestly that it’s very hard. I have a very full life, yet I still feel the loss.


3 thoughts on “Failure to Let Go

  1. You’re mostly mentioning professional activities rather than stuff that would lead to an emotional connection with another person (your relationship with your husband obviously excluded from this, but I mean the rest of the list). It seems obvious that these wouldn’t help compensate, but then again I don’t have kids so maybe I’m misunderstanding


    1. Of course, a relay with a child is different in that it gives you an extraordinary power. It’s a better power trip than commanding an army, I imagine. For a woman who feels no power in any other context, giving this sudden experience of it must be intolerable.


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