For approximately 18 hours, last weekend, we were a family of 4 once again! It was my daughter who arranged the brief reunion! I’m delighted my son returned home his last weekend before classes began to help move his sister back to college! This was the first summer neither lived at home, and they saw very little of each other. Plus, he had yet to visit her campus.
It worked for us to ride together in the same vehicle since we used our trailer. We easily transitioned into our comfortable traveling routines. My husband listened to podcasts while driving, my son and I read, and my daughter listened to music. At some point, she stretched out and placed her head in my lap so that I’d rub her back.
I found myself glancing up from my Kindle, at times, distracted. My mind traveled back to my son’s move three years ago. Three years?! Could it be?! Can my son really be a college senior? Where have the years gone?
What is this I’m feeling now? I’m not quite sure.
It’s different from the sadness I felt the week prior to his departure his freshman year. That was a tough week as I had to adjust to the realities of a new family configuration and trust I had been a “good enough” mother.
Last year, it was a mix of nostalgia and excitement… oddly enough. As my daughter gathered her belongings together for her freshman year, I recalled my own preparations years before and the nervous excitement. I was also anticipating the new stage that awaited my husband and me.
This present ‘something’ is not grief, nostalgia or excitement. I can’t quite name it yet… a bit melancholy? I’m not sure that’s it either. There are no tears. I do sense some of my typical anxious thought patterns about things beyond my control as it relates to my son’s future. I have found myself sighing more than usual.
Throughout this past week, I discovered various reminders of the kids’ most recent stay… scattered bobby pins, an inflated air mattress, an over-sized paintbrush, a discarded Ray Bradbury book and a forgotten shirt in the washer.
Although I do honestly enjoy the realities of my empty nest, I also enjoy their visits home because once again I …
- Have someone to help me locate my car in the parking lot.
- Have someone to assist me with heavy items.
- Hear giggles and laughter coming from my daughter’s room.
- Have someone to “make” me pause & watch So You Think You Can Dance YouTube videos.
- Have someone who spontaneously makes blueberry coffeecake.
- Have someone willing to run out to the store for milk or eggs or whatever else I need.
- Have someone willing to mow the yard.
- Can play family games such as Euchre, Qwirkle, Three Kings, etc.
- Have others who will lavish love and attention on our dog.
At this time every year, I used to have Snickerdoodles waiting for the kids when they arrived home from their first day of school. This past Monday was my son’s “last” first day of college. Today, my daughter’s classes began.
I suppose virtual cookies will have to do.
- 1 c. shortening
- 1 1/2 c. white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 3/4 c. flour
- 2 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1 tsp. soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- equal amounts of cinnamon & sugar, mixed
Cream together shortening, sugar and eggs. Blend in flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Roll dough into balls, then roll in cinnamon sugar mixture. Place balls on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 7 to 9 minutes. You may want to double the recipe.