I'm sitting on the patio at my sister's while the Labradoodle does his business. It's hot and late September.
Already I miss my own house, my own family.
I'm watching her sons for three days, but they're at school so the house is quiet and dull. My sister insists her kids say "Yes, Ma'am, No, Ma'am," but I trick them into answering in sentences. They go on about teachers who grade too hard; running sub six-minute miles; ultimate Frisbee hammer throws. I was at both their births and now they are 13 and 15. I pack them dry ham sandwich & Cheeto lunches, wait for them to get home, get them to practice.
I'm nostalgic, but I would never want to replay my own son's high school years, or his first two years of college. Every age was my favorite, except 15 – 19. Hang on, Sister! Now my son is 25 — the best! — and living in London. His dad and I are okay with missing him; we just don't want him to miss us too much. I couldn't bear it if he got homesick like I used to even when my parents were home. Moving away from them eased the ache of being their kid.
There's a broken soccer goal against the wooden fence and the dog sniffs around it.
I want my son to always feel at home, with or without us.
It's 2:55 and I hear the yellow bus chugging out front. Time to ask about homework I long ago forgot how to do. Two more days.
Do you have children?
- - -