Too quiet after the stormBeverly Godfrey column: The lack of chaos is disorienting. Three kids off to their first day of school, just one little boy left, wondering where everybody has gone. He and I both.
By: Beverly Godfrey, Duluth News Tribune
The lack of chaos is disorienting. Three kids off to their first day of school, just one little boy left, wondering where everybody has gone. He and I both.
I’m like a dog waiting for its owners to return home.
I could easily sit by the window all day, looking down the driveway where I last saw my masters, ever-vigilant, just in case I’m needed.
Not sure where that puts me in the parent-child relationship, that I would be the dog. If the analogy holds true, they’ll feed me when they get home, but I don’t think that’s how it will play out. Guess I’m more of a working farm dog than a pet.
When they’re home they are not only my masters, of course, but my servants, too. Today, however, there will be no ordering anyone to hang up the laundry or take out the trash. It will all be me. And heaven help me if I lose my glasses, because I’m never the one who finds them.
With the quiet and free time surrounding me, my first urge was to clean something, a pathetic thought easily dismissed. Much better to brush up on my Candy Land skills — better played outside, too, because time spent indoors this time of year is a crime. The world will be frozen over soon enough.
We adapt to our new surroundings, seasons always changing. Forget the weather, though; the great child migration back to school is the biggest change of seasons.
I know many parents sigh with relief with the kids out of the house, but I’m not there yet, not sure I’ll ever be. I miss having them around.
I’d better start now, teaching the little one that it’s part of our culture that the youngest stay at home always to care for his aging parents. Do me a favor and don’t tell him any different, will you?
Growing older alongside my peers, I’ve gone through the time all my friends are finding jobs, getting married, having babies and then, even, many getting divorced. But this year, there was a remarkable uptick in the number of friends I saw sending kids off to college for the first time. Am I really only four years away from that?
Does any parent, I wonder, stay ahead of the curve on these emotions? Are we all always playing catchup? I’m guessing so because the alternative would be for me to, right now, square myself with them having girlfriends and husbands and babies of their own. No, thank you. I’ll wait until it happens and deal with the spinning head that ensues.
Before having children, I thought I’d prefer to have kids spaced close together. They’d grow up at similar ages and then all move away. Things didn’t work out that way, and I’m glad for it. That little boy, soon to be 3, who fell asleep on the couch at 10 a.m., is a treasure. Poor guy heard everyone getting up at 7, so he got up, too.
“Me go with you?” he asked one, two, three times.
Nope, honey, you’re staying home with Mom — for now.
Beverly Godfrey is a copy editor for the News Tribune and sometimes stay-at-home mom. You can reach her at bgodfrey@duluth news.com.