My Last “First Day”
This week I experienced my last “first day.” My twin sons are high school seniors. I’ve already watched as their older sisters fluttered out of our nest and survived the past year of being the only female at home. I think I held my own with the practical jokes—I think my best was basting shirt sleeves together to surprise them on a skiing youth group trip—and I’ve learned to wield a Nerf gun pretty well when a Nerf war breaks out in our house.
I’ve managed as my hands-on-mothering job has down-sized by focusing on new pursuits such as the writing journey I’m on, but I’m wondering how next year will be with no one here except my husband. It reminds me of the year I turned twenty-five. That milestone didn’t make me sad, but thinking ahead to year twenty-six turned on the melancholy.
That’s what happening to me now. I’m wondering about next year. I didn’t cry at senior picture day, or when the photos arrived in the mail, or during the senior breakfast on the first day of school. (Some parents have confessed that they did.) Every now and then, however, my mind races ahead, and I think about the future.
One night when the boys were out, my husband and I ate dinner alone. The house was quiet, and although he had his mouth closed, I could hear him chewing. My future flashed before me, and it wasn’t a future filled with lectures, concerts, or plays—suggestions I’d made to other depressed empty-nesters. It was one with the sound of my husband’s chewing.
Maybe we’ll start listening to music during dinnertime.