Since two of our babies flew away in August, I’ve noticed a few things that are rather nice about having a smaller household. Getting by on leftovers at least three nights a week is good. Getting away with NOT doing any laundry a couple of days a week isn’t bad. More quiet evenings at home and almost a complete stop to various meetings and committees has not exactly hurt my feelings.
But the down side is pretty hefty.
Every now and then it hits me like a bolt from the blue that our dear, funny, even-tempered, fascinating Oldest will never again be with us for more than a few days at a time.
Today while grocery shopping, I plopped my huge collection of reusable bags on the conveyer. We always needed seven bags for the weekly shopping when the whole family was home. Today I only needed two and a half bags. I said something about “Oh, we usually have five home for dinner, but I guess this week is different.” And then I realized…no, two and a half bags is a normal grocery load now. It sounds like a really stupid thing to get upset about, but I had to choke back tears on the way out to the van.
And then there’s the heartwarming but bittersweet stuff…
Last night The Boy texted and asked if he could call. This pretty much never happens, so I knew something was up. My stomach was in knots until my phone rang. As it turned out, he was concerned about his girlfriend, in college seven hours away from him and four from her home, and having a really rough time adjusting to being away at school. He wanted my advice. Yes, you read that right. A nineteen-year-old wanted his mother’s advice. He even went so far as to say that what I’d told him was helpful. As we said good-bye I said, as I always do, “I love you.” And knock me over with a marshmallow, he said back, “I love you, too.” I honestly think that’s the first time I’ve heard those words from my boy since he was in kindergarten.
Things continue to change. I continue to try and adapt. And occasionally, there are tears.