These are five of my children. We were missing Anne and her husband Zach. On this past Friday my daughter Liz left for a weekend Lifeteen Retreat. On Saturday night my daughter Mary left for Atlanta to spend Spring Break with her sister. That meant.....none of the offspring were home on Saturday night. I don't recall when the last time was that that happened. I'm not sure it has ever happened since the birth of my first born 29 years ago.
Although my husband was home, the house seemed very quiet. (Well, he is a quiet man.) It was terribly quiet. I read....with no interruptions...at all. The lack of interruptions was itself almost a distraction. The quiet was so unfamiliar. It was disquieting, if you will excuse the pun.
As my regular readers know, I have six children. Five are now adults and the sixth is almost there. Still, I have two teenagers who still live here. Next year we may be back to just my husband and me. Or...there may be four adult children living here, depending on the educational/work plans of each one. But even if next year there are four, it is clear that in a relatively short time they will all be off on their own.
It's a strange feeling realizing that is the case. Somewhat sorrowful, somewhat gratifying. After all, that has been the goal these past three decades, to raise children who will then go off to live their lives independently and with virtue, I hope.
Still, the quiet may seem strange for a while. Perhaps my concentration and attention span will improve, since I will then have the opportunity to focus on a project uninterrupted for a long period of time, something that for the most part I have not done much of for several decades.
I think I will enjoy the time to read and write and pray. That will be the best part. And, who knows, perhaps before too long these walls may be hearing the pleasant sound of more little people---- grandchildren, I hope.