From May to the end of August, our house buzzes with activity when our daughter is home from college for summer break.
It's an adjustment for my husband and I to have our only child back home as much as I'm sure it's an adjustment for her to be home. Music, laughter and activity fill our home. The door swings with friends coming and going and I never know how many mouths I'll be feeding for dinner.
My husband and I've been used to the silence and serenity of our home and we've all become used to coming and going as we please. The initial days of summer break can be a bit trying for all of us.
This year my husband and I have seen our daughter grow into an adult. We like what we see. She has spent hours this summer talking with us about anything and everything. She seems to have realized that Mom and Dad are actually interesting to spend time with. My husband refers to it as breaking thru to the other side. It's a very cool thing and a true sign that she is growing up.
Three years ago an unsure Freshman burst into tears as she said goodbye to her home, horse and dog. This year an assured Junior had already networked with her college bound pals weeks before she left. Her enthusiasm about returning to school and living in her first apartment with a roommate were catching as I scoured my home for items to send along with her.
Our dog and kitten were perplexed about the changes in the past week. They seemed to know that she was leaving. And indeed this morning she left us for another year of school and the discoveries it brings.
Initially my husband and I will find the silence deafening. The pets will be out of sorts and we will all be very kind and gentle to each other as we adapt to the change in rhythm.
But in a few days we will all rediscover the liberation of going where we please, when we please. Soon it will be our norm, only to change for all of us when she returns from school for the holiday break.
But between now and those next few days, there's a feeling of loss and sadness in both my husband and I as we miss the daughter who brought warmth, smiles, engaging conversation and laughter to us this past summer. Her leaving is a sure sign of summer's end.