Even though he's in college, Boy in Black comes home pretty often. Well, the campus apartment he shares with FirstExtra is about twelve miles away, so he's not traveling a huge distance. His drum set is here, and his electric guitar, and the piano. He uses our washer and dryer, and he raids our cupboards for food. But mostly, I think, he comes often for the same reason my daughter tries to get home whenever she can. His younger brothers are here.
I'll come home from work and find Boy in Black settled in the comfy chair, helping Shaggy Hair with his physics homework. I'll look out into the backyard and see him throwing a frisbee with Shaggy Hair, or having a light saber battle with With-a-Why. Sometimes he'll bring his laptop home and settle down by the fire with us to do his own work. He's got a bunch of close friends on the college Ultimate team, and he'll disappear on weekends sometimes to hang out with them, but always, he returns a few days later, often on a week night, and I'll find him lounging on the couch, joking with Skater Boy or talking to Quick.
His presence is especially important to With-a-Why, that quiet, intense boy who adores his older brother. Even though they are six years apart, they've always been close. They can still stay up all night together, drawn into games or projects. I'll come downstairs sometimes on a Saturday morning and find them both on the comfy couch, asleep in whatever positions they fell into when their intense energy finally gave out.