With a stealthy, smirking demeanor, my daughter (home for the weekend with her fiance), climbed the stairs carrying a metal sauce pan in one hand and a wooden spoon in the other. "Time to wake Angus," she whispered to me on her way up.
Her brother Angus, who is home from college, seemed to be dead asleep by the time Olivia reached his door and began a relentless drumming on the sauce pan. The sound filled the house and probably spilled onto the street. It was as perfectly malicious and effective as she had planned.
The house is full of people, full of children, full of the cross-currents of laughter and conversation and banged pots and boisterousness that once drifted away and left an empty silence in their wake. It was hard to have them leave ... the empty nest syndrome.
And yet now, having accustomed myself to the silence they once left in their wake, it is also hard to have them back. "What happened to the noise?" has found a counterpart in "What happened to the silence?"
I am happy to have everyone under the same roof once again. These are good people in my eyes -- people I love. My younger son has a western Massachusetts track meet today -- a thing for which he qualified at the last minute. So today is a big day for him. Wife, daughter, older son, and fiance will all be rooting for him, as will I, although I will not be on the scene. Too tiring.
The flow flows.
Habit is such a strange and vacillating companion.