At 53 I'm supposed to be thinking about "empty nest syndrome" and how AARP knows my address. Instead I'm thinking about the pending birth of my first child. Where did the years go? And how did everything get turned around? A marriage. A divorce. A second marriage and now after so many years have slipped by . . . a child. Can I handle this? Some say it's easier when you are older -- age brings patience and wisdom. With weeks to go, I've run out of time to think about it. I'm in a world of pink and feeling younger.

Dave Lewis

Alexandria

My husband is away this week visiting his parents. For the next seven days, I will listen to New Age music, have zucchini with my eggs instead of on the side, use less air conditioning and talk on the phone without having to coordinate with my husband's Internet time. I won't have to clean up stray soda cans, remind anyone to turn lights off, throw out unwanted mail or explain the intricacies of baseball. I'll miss my husband's great bear hugs and his excitement over the tomatoes in our garden, but sometimes it's nice to be single when you're married.

Anne Kotchek

Rockville

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