My apologies for the colloquialism, but with our three older boys away at camp for the week, I am reveling in the temporary headcount reduction. Going from a household of seven to four is a whole new world – one that I haven’t visited since 1995.
Some changes are obvious. The car keys are all dangling from their hooks by the door. No one is sneaking in to use my laptop every time I turn around. I haven’t had to wrestle the remote away from a teenager who thinks he is learning all things corporate by watching “The Office” and I don’t have to take out a second mortgage just to go to the movies with my family. At night.
Some changes aren’t as noticeable, but are no less worthy of recognition. Our dishwasher, for instance, is getting a much-needed rest as is our washing machine and dryer.
Without the seemingly constant hum of appliances, banter, ringing cell phones and clicking keyboards, the house is definitely quieter.
I could get used to this…
If I wasn’t so wrapped up in making sure our older three had everything they needed to survive in the great outdoors, maybe I would’ve had the foresight to take advantage of another perk shared by more diminutive families – going on vacation and staying at a hotel in which I would only need to reserve one room. It’s always been a fantasy of mine. The last time we were a family of four, the two youngest were still sporting diapers and needing all that goes with it – strollers, pacifiers, bottles and more wardrobe changes than you would see at the Ice Capades.
Yet, only two days into this new way of living and I’m already beginning to sense a downside. There was nobody around to take my youngest to his pal’s house this morning while my husband was at the dentist with our other son and I was working on a report that was due by noon. And who can take the guys out for bike rides, fishing expeditions and backyard soccer scrimmages while my husband mows the lawn and clears the gutters from last week’s storms?
Even dinner time is missing something. Sure, the first night was nice. I only had to make a single batch of Swedish meatballs, but by the second night, I found myself longing for a conversation that didn’t revolve around the most recently mastered knock-knock joke.
Oh well. Not to worry. They’ll be home in a few days. It’s a good thing, too. I just got a call from the grocery store asking why I don’t come around so much anymore.