Public schools in this area opened today.
Shaggy Hair Boy, Blonde Niece, and Skater Boy are in tenth grade, their second year over at the high school, which means they weren't even a bit nervous about school opening. With-a-Why joined about a thousand other students in the junior high building, which will be a change from the small elementary school he attended.
The biggest change, though, is in our household. All summer, we've had extra kids here just about every night. Teenagers would stop over as soon as they got out of work to come for the evening Ultimate Frisbee game. Older Neighbor Boy, Philosophical Boy, and Skater Boy left their guitars and amps and mikes in our living room for the late night jam sessions that went on almost every night. Sailor Boy and Pirate Boy were here every day, as was Blonde Niece. Even after all the older kids left for college, we've still had half a dozen kids here most nights.
But on school nights, most kids sleep in their own homes. Last night, as I was idly surfing blogs on my laptop, I could feel the quietness of the house creeping up on me.
With-a-Why and Shaggy Hair Boy were both reading intently, neither making a sound. My husband was working at the kitchen table, his laptop open.
How empty the house seemed with just the four of us. I missed Boy in Black's music, his constant drumming and strumming. I missed his gang of friends, with their teasing and joking. I missed my Wonderful Smart Beautiful Daughter; I kept thinking I could just walk into her room to tell her something.
I know we will get used to this new routine, this new quieter lifestyle. I know that on Friday afternoon, a bunch of extra kids will arrive to make the house noisy again. But right now, we are listening to the quietness and feeling a little sad.