Yesterday my eldest son moved back home after completing his undergraduate degree. He is home for only a week before heading up north where he will work all summer. In the fall he will rejoin the household for a prolonged stay before pursuing graduate school a year or so down the road. As he joked during his recent graduation ceremony he plans to become an excellent stay-at-home-son in the interim.
There is no doubt the dynamics of our home have changed with my son’s return. With all three boys home – ages 17, 19, 21 – the house is messier, louder, busier, and we go through food at an alarming rate. Within hours of Robert’s return friends were congregating in the basement to watch a movie and soak in our hot tub. When Robert is around the TV is usually tuned to a sports channel so he doesn’t miss any scores. This morning I switched back to our large coffee maker since my eldest now is a coffee drinker. While he was away I was the only morning coffee person in our home so a two-cup carafe was fine. By mornings’ end I had scrambled eggs, flipped pancakes, mixed smoothies, sliced fruit, prepared oatmeal, and cooked bacon. I now need to go grocery shopping. At Costco. Because they have LARGE sizes. And clean the kitchen. I am worried this whole grocery shopping thing might become a daily event.
Our family is at that stage of life where the boys come and go. We have a shared care arrangement with Matthew’s group home so he is to and fro our home on a regular basis. Matthew is an integral party of the pandemonium in our home. The other two boys are back and forth with camp commitments, travel, school, jobs, and outings. I know that in a little over a year there is an excellent chance that all my boys may be spending more time away from home than at home. My youngest will be heading off to university for the first time and my eldest will likely be heading off to some form of graduate school. Both boys will be up north at camp this summer for stretches of time – with my eldest gone for four months. My youngest is part of a European exchange prior to leaving for camp. All this is a sign of things to come. I know that it isn’t too far off in the distance that there will be a time when my nest is rather empty.
But for the moment my nest is bursting with busy-ness, friends, sports, hockey sticks, running gear, gym bags, basketballs, noise, clutter, and very, very empty kitchen cupboards. And I am happy. So very, very happy.