I built a fire, just as I do almost every evening in the winter. With-a-Why had a new book to read, so he grabbed a cushion from the couch and converted the ottoman into a lounge chair. My husband settled in the red chair with his laptop so that he could surf sites as we planned our late-summer vacation. Boy in Black and Shaggy Hair Boy came in after Ultimate practice: Boy in Black took a spot on the floor to begin stretching, while Shaggy Hair went to the kitchen area to look for food.
For all my complaints about the empty-nest syndrome, my house is still not particularly empty. But still, I can feel the changes coming. Boy in Black will graduate from college this year. My youngest child has grown so tall that I have to look up at him now. Shaggy Hair Boy has turned from teenager to confident, poised young man. Although we see her pretty often, my daughter is 150 miles away at her grad school in Bison City. Perhaps the most telling difference is that as we looked at parks and maps on the laptop, my husband and I were planning a summer vacation trip not for six people, but for two.