Waiting by the phone

I'm stuck at home by the phone waiting for a boy to show up.

You'd think I was a teeny-bopper.

The boy in question is, of course, Matt. I'm waiting for the phone call from a chaperone who will tell me the approximate time the buses will arrive at the elementary school. Then over a hundred fifth graders will spill out of the buses, jabbering and chattering, necks craned as they look for parents, waving as they spot their matches.

The house has been quiet this week without the youngest around, trying to make sure his voice is heard. And one very rare event--the solar eclipse of sibling events--Hayley and Jimmy actually conversed with each other without argument or finger-pointing. All because one little boy was away.

Family dynamics change as circumstances change. Jimmy and Paul used to be best buddies in Legoland. Now they have their own interests. Katie and Jimmy used to play Barbies and Dinosaurs. Paul used to sit in a large purple Rubbermaid container with Hayley and lisp his way around a story. Hayley and Matt used to be inseparable. Those simple facts are facts no more. Katie is gone, Jimmy nearly so. Paul is frequently up to his hair in text books, Hayley draws in her room or practices clarinet at the computer. Matt, though, hasn't yet outgrown his voice. And while he and it have been gone, I've been given a glimpse into the future.

Quietude.

Comments

Isn't is strange how one absence changes everyone's role in a family?
Jen said…
Right now I can say I'm envious of the solitude your kids allow for you, but I know I'll miss my little magnets one day when they become demagnetized.