May 07, 2008

And the painted ponies go up and down

The semester is winding down. When Boy in Black stopped home last week, he carried in a laundry basket full of clothes and a cardboard box full of desk supplies. The next night, he came in with a bag of books and a plastic bag that held his quilt and pillows. "I've moved home, " he announced. He is a man of simple means.

My Beautiful Smart Wonderful Daughter, who has been living in an off-campus apartment, took a couple of hours last week to paint over the mural that she and I painted on her wall last July. (Her landlord didn't agree with us that the mural added value to the room. There is just no accounting for taste.) It seemed funny to see the room looking blank. She has more clothes than Boy in Black, but she, too, will move home by just tossing a few boxes of stuff in the car whenever she gets a chance.

And yesterday, I picked her up for lunch. We drove to the cafe that serves great vegan food and ate there, just the two of us. We've had lunch once a week for pretty much her whole college career, and this was officially the last lunch: she graduates this weekend.

By Monday, all my kids will be living under my roof again. I'll have them all here, playing music and draping themselves on the couch and playing card games and rounding up people for Ultimate or just hanging out teasing each other and making inappropirate jokes and watching YouTube clips.

But this will likely be the last summer that we'll all be together. Because they just keep growing up.

19 comments:

jar said...

I picked up my oldest yesterday. Luckily on my last visit I brought home a bunch of his things as the car was almost full yesterday. But then again I'm a horrible packer and we kind of threw things in.

BrightStar said...

Graduating already!??! What happened, did she go through college in just two years?! Well, seriously, I know a lot of time has passed, but I didn't realize it was that much time. Congratulations to her!

jo(e) said...

Bright Star: Yeah, it feels that way to me too! I can't believe it's been four years since she graduated from high school. It seems like just the other day that she started college. She was a first year student when I began this blog .... but that was three and a half years ago ....

Songbird said...

It's the same here, in terms of a last summer, and even that will be only partial. I want to stop it, yet I'm happy to see them growing up, too. This part of parenting is hard, isn't it?

jo(e) said...

Songbird: Yes, it is. I'm happy to see my kids growing up to be independent, self-reliant, wonderful adults, but still it's hard to let them go. I've really loved the parenting years ....

peripateticpolarbear said...

wow. it's really weird to have experienced the college years of someone I've never met. I remember early on of reading your blog--the famous pirate costume story--and her on the other end of the phone commenting that the family was helpless without her (or something like that), and I could just picture a college freshman.

Congrats, mom. I take it you're going to go watch her pick up the receipt?

jo(e) said...

PPB: We're still helpless without her! Thank goodness for her cell phone.

I think we get to watch her graduate about ten times this weekend. She has to go to the Honors convocation, then the Arts and Sciences convocation, then the Journalism School convocation, then a bunch of receptions for her two majors and her minor, then another reception for her scholarship, and THEN there's the graduation ceremony with the whole school. I'm assuming that someone will hand her a diploma at one of those events ....

cheesehead said...

No way!!! BSWD graduates already??? Where did the time fly???

Sarah Sometimes said...

congratulations and love to BSWD! Sounds like you have a full weekend coming up.....

BlackenedBoy said...

Sweet and sad. Though, look at it this way: with rising housing and living costs, they may all be with you a little longer than you thought!

listie said...

Can you believe how fast the last 4years went? CD graduates next weekend, moves home temporarily and life as we know it will change yet again. I'm having such trouble dealing with the fact that she's a smart, confident adult and not my little girl anymore.

Congratulations to BSWD and her beautiful, smart, wonderful mother.

Sandie said...

This sounds like heaven to me, mine have always taken summer stock theatre jobs in the summer...so I miss this and have since I they were 16. This summer I will only have one of the 3 home, and he will be working as many hours as his boss lets him 40-50....

Yankee, Transferred said...

Waaah. I have not had a summer with all my kids home for 3 years now. My Older Daughter has always been a traveler, and has spent the last 3 summers away. I hate it.
For me. But I love it for her.
I would totally hang out at your house.

ccw said...

I can't believe that she is graduating. That just doesn't seem possible.

I can only imagine how bittersweet it must be to have everyone home for the summer. I'm sorry it might be the last but I have a feeling that you will all still spend a lot of time together. I can't imagine your family any other way.

Julia said...

Sounds lovely, all of it. And my wish for you is that this Bittersweet Summer linger and linger.

Karin said...

That brought tears to my eyes. I was talking to my little one today and asked her if she'd stay with me forever. In her 3 year old innocence she hugged me and said yes she would. I hugged her tightly and said thank you, but you don't have to. Just promise you'll come back and visit often when you grow up. I love watching her grow and I wouldn't want to change it, but it's bittersweet knowing that every day is a day closer to her leaving. Luckily, it'll be many years from now. But still. Gotta hold on tight for as long as I can!

Sharon said...

DANG IT!! I should have read this one first and the next one last! *Sigh* here come those pesky tears again...

kate5kiwis said...

...the last summer...
how can it be that these people, our children, occupy so much of our heart?
i hope this summer lasts forever and you soak up every second.
X

BeachMama said...

I know how much you love having all the kids home. Enjoy this summer and you just never know, it may not be the last one you will all be together.