My wife went down and picked-up our daughter to bring her home and unemptynester us. She arrived early to make the 2 PM scheduled “pick up” slot so that we don’t tie up the streets of the busy urban environment and disrupt the city. “Don’t worry mom, I’ll be ready.” She was. There were seven neatly packed garbage bags (I believe that’s a non sequiter) filled with clothes, books, supplies and stuff. The two girls loaded the small SUV to the gills and returned home. I am not allowed to comment on the incident about the key, but let’s just say that both questioned how much fun it would be being around one another for the next few weeks.
When they arrived at home in the early evening there were hugs all around and immediate greetings with pet names, all affectionate, most flattering. We all pitched in and unloaded the car, one garbage bag at a time. When I passed the laundry room, I did hear a groan. It came from the washing machine. There was a mumbling about another 5 loads within 24 hours. That will make it twice within 3 days. Doesn’t an appliance get a break? The offer to help with laundry was expressed with sincerity, but we parents knew it was really vacant. I know, I know, you did it all year. However, there is little doubt that inserting into the washer, moving to the dryer and then folding will conflict with reconnecting with high school friends. After all which is the priority? What is the big deal, if the garbage bags lie around for a few days and create a steeplechase course in the hallway? Needless to say, mom started the first load before dinner.
Speaking of which, we had sushi for the second time in 3 days. After all, we cannot have a tradition for one child and not the other. This time we brought in rather than go out. As we sat around the table, the bantering/teasing between the siblings began. They compared stories and exploits, who had harder courses, greater conquests, or funnier friend stories. We laughed a bunch, at times it was us AT them. Eventually we finished eating. Almost in unison, gotta go Mom and Dad, have to see my friends, you don’t mind cleaning up, do you?
Then in a flash, it was like it was 3 days before, an empty house, although there were two fewer cars in the driveway. We settled into TV and went to sleep.
Around 3 o’clock I awoke with an urge. This was a fifty something urge, not a twenty something urge. So, I got up to attend to my business and noticed the light on. I opened the bedroom door and saw both kids’ rooms ablaze with their respective inhabitants behind their laptops. One gave a little wave as if greeting me for the first time for the day and then returned to the movie or Facebook. I shook my head, closed my bedroom door, finished my mission and went back to sleep.
The summer begins, all empty nest routines are abandoned for 4 months.