In August of 2004 we packed up Older Son and took him to college. Wife and I took turns crying all the way home.
Last August Daughter started college. When we told her goodbye, Wife had to pull me away and drive me home.
We soon got used to life with only Younger Son at home. His needs are simple -- an occasional ride somewhere, infrequent help with homework, your basic essentials like food and shelter. Overall he is extremely low maintenance.
Just last month Older Son boomeranged back home. Daughter is home for the summer. Various boyfriends and girlfriends come to visit. There are comings and goings almost around the clock. The dog is a nervous wreck with all the activity and would, I suspect, be just as happy if things would quiet down again.
The garage, which just two months ago was neat as a pin, is filled with what Older Son and Daughter claim are valuable belongings but for which there is no room in the house.
The washer and drier are going most of the time and I fear Al Gore would not be happy with our collective carbon footrpint (but I do recycle). Someone is usually in the kitchen looking for something to eat. The driveway resembles a parking lot.
There are times these days when I become expasperated, when I long for order, when I would like to be able to complete a thought and maybe even transfer that thought into a sentence without fear of interruption or cross-examination.
Just recently when I confidentially conveyed such thinking to Wife, she, in her infinite wisdom, reminded me that these days will soon pass. Not only will the older two be gone again, she said, but the "baby," he of upwards of six feet and 200 pounds, will follow them. Things will be neat and orderly and you will sit here and count the days until you can go see them or they will come to see you, she told me. So enjoy these days.
She was right of course, as she usually is.
So we are enjoying these days at our house. Tomorrow night we're hosting a cookout for their friends who are home this summer. Typically, they have not been able to give us much definite information about the numbers but if we'll just grill a few burgers and chicken breasts, that will be great, they have told us.
Of course Wife has bought enough for a small army and is preparing all the trimmings. It will be total chaos over here tomorrow night and there will be young folks coming and going into the wee hours. We'll be exhausted by the next morning.
But most of all, it will be great fun. And we will continue to savor these great days of summer.