But my kids are mostly adults now. Laptop computers have replaced Lego blocks in the living room. Beautiful Smart Wonderful Daughter is in Bison City for two more months, finishing her Master’s degree. Boy in Black is playing on three different Ultimate teams and doing physics research in his spare time. Shaggy Hair Boy and With-a-Why play Ultimate and spend their leisure time at the piano. We still have a gang of young people hanging out in the living room, especially late at night after everyone has gotten out of work, but they play poker now rather than Pokemon.
Perhaps the biggest change is that my husband and I have planned some summer trips vacations for just the two of us. After years of traveling with four kids — making sure every kid had a duffle bag packed, filling the car with camping gear for six people, and planning a schedule to accommodate kids of different ages and sizes — it feels strange to be making plans for two.
We’re doing that this morning, piling our stuff into bags and packing the car, heading off for a long weekend together. It feels good to roll back the clock 25 years and be able to take off whenever we feel like it, without lining up babysitters or packing diapers or trying to cram way too much stuff into a car that had to also hold six people. I’m looking forward to having long conversations with my husband without being interrupted by crying children or sarcastic teenagers.
But it’s also bittersweet.