Yes, so we said our goodbyes, last night. It will be a year before he returns home, this time. Tough, it was tough.
But it was oh-so-good to have Brian home for 20 days, and see that he's ok. He is really ok.
Funny to have him home for some time, after adjusting, for the last year or so, to a life alone, a new empty-nesting normal. I'm comfortable in my home, have plenty of friends and family, and, as you know, plenty of extracurricular activities filling out my life. I'm doing ok. Everything is generally in place.
Until my kid comes home.
And the bathroom smells like aftershave again,
And I'm stopping at the grocery store every night after work
And I'm cooking dinner for 6 most evenings
And his friends, my other sons, come over and walk right into the house without knocking, and crash on my living room floor
And bacon is a staple in my house again
And I squawk at them to pick their cigarette butts up off my driveway, and throw their Gatorade bottles away
And Brian, vowing to give me a heart attack before he leaves, offhandedly mentions things such as "Well, Mom, you're going to be a Grandma." (He was kidding.) (I think.)
And my toiletries mysteriously end up in the second bathroom
And there is WAY more farting going on in this house. And in the car.
And the kid pokes me in the ribs making me jump 3 feet in the air, to the amusement of his friends
And sometimes we bicker, and get on one another's nerves
And I have to move t-shirts, boxer shorts, and socks out of the dryer before I can dry my own clothes
And I can actually hit the 2-button on my cell phone, and a phone will ring, and Brian can pick up!
And impromptu dinners can be arranged
And he can grab a bag of ice for me, on the way home
And I still lecture that kid, and his friends, if they need it
And I have laughed my butt off for 20 days.
And my current, empty-nesting life seems foreign and empty to me, once again. This, this is what I'm comfortable with. I feel normal again, doing the Mom-thang for 1 + more. I'm back in my own skin.
Alas, I know that having a houseful of crazy kids on a near-daily basis isn't my life anymore. They are now 21, 22 years old. I know I'd kick their skinny butts out of my house and tell them "Hey! Go buy your own bacon!"
But God, I love them. And I already miss them all like crazies.