They’re all off. Four in college and just one at home.
I guess it all became real the day I asked my one-still-here to wash potatoes for supper. Suddenly, she stopped. “There’s only three of us!”
I looked at her. “You’re just now realizing that?”
“No, but–” she held up the potato bag. “There’s only three of us!” Meaning, Yay, I only have to wash three potatoes!
Well, yes, but — boy, the house is quiet!
I knew it would be. You don’t go from seven to five to three without noticing a difference. I’d been preparing for it for months. Perhaps the entire last year with my twins’ being seniors. But it still hit hard.
I know. Some mom’s thinking, What in the world are you complaining about? I’d give my right lung for some peace and quiet.
I get it. I’ve been there!
Five kids practicing piano. Five kids asking questions on homework. Five kids asking what’s for supper. Five kids arguing about how loud and what type of music is being played on Pandora. (Okay, truth-in-telling, it was usually my husband and I arguing with them about that. Seriously, do we have to listen to Christmas music in May? Loud enough to bring back ghosts of Christmases past?) But there were other arguments…discussions…jokes…laughter. And somehow, more evenings than not, we’d have someone who decided to sing an operatic number from Les Miserables at midnight. How many times did I repeat the age-old mom phrase: “It’s so loud in here, I can’t hear my own thoughts!”
So now that it’s so quiet, what are all those thoughts? I don’t know; the quiet keeps chasing them away. I keep looking for the distraction. The interruption. The white noise. I thought I’d get so much done when I had fewer to do for. Instead, there’s just fewer to help with the doing, and the done never moves to did.
The good thing is my one-and-only is talking more. And the dishwasher only needs to run once every three days rather than three times every day. And yes, we only have to wash three potatoes. The bad thing is we have a lot of leftovers of everything else; I still need to learn to cook for only three.
I’m not necessarily complaining–just adjusting to my new normal….Realizing the truth of Trace Adkin’s song, “You’re Gonna Miss This.” At church, in claiming chairs, we used to take up a good part of a line. Now the three of us are just a little period at the end. I AM thankful for 4 years at home with my last one. And who knows, maybe by then some of the others will come back home to roost. Maybe.
But meanwhile, Mamas, hug your babies. And enjoy their “endless” noise as a profound symphony–because it really WILL fade all too quickly…
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”
– Psalm 90:12, ESV