The Baby Graduates

familyWith less than three weeks under our belt, the new tenant is starting to catch on. We put the dishes in the dishwasher after the free meals.

When I’m in my (home) office, I’m not interested in the steady stream of unearthed gems from dresser drawers (Really? Pogs?). While we have a bit of a language barrier, he’s learning to read my expressions to gauge my response to a given situation. For example, a recent midnight round of rockin’ Youtube videos, caused me to stomp and scowl for a brief period of time, thus suggesting I was awakened and annoyed.

Yes, our baby has graduated from college and moved back home. And apparently, he’s forgotten certain communal living courtesies. Perhaps fraternal arrangements are managed differently, but in this boarding house, we have ground rules.

You see, it’s been 11 years since all three of our sons have lived in our home at the same time. And most days, while it was bustling, it was usually so pleasant that we were nicknamed the Cleavers, sans June’s pearl necklace, by friends. (Oh, we definitely had THOSE days, when, let’s say someone decided to cut their hair into a flattop like GI Joe, and practice first on the dog, then suggest it was a shedding problem for both. Or, the time we received a Sorry I Burnt Your Carpet sympathy card in the mail from an after school video shoot gone awry.) But life was good when the house was full once upon a time.

Fast forward to this new era. Empty nester syndrome took us a full two weeks to appreciate, so I assumed the return of the Prodigal Student would require the same amount of adjustment. That allowed for a trip to the zoo, some hiking, and general laundry tips while he waits for his grad school marching orders.

(Surely I dream, for the zoo closes before he awakens most days, as do most hiking trails. As for laundry, I’m assuming the empty, dripping detergent bottle is an indicator of completion. No longer my concern, except when it’s my turn at the Whirlpool.)

Which leads me to our/his lunch/breakfast conversation today regarding the future of our lease-with-an-option-to-move out. It went something like this:

Me: “I want you to write out your goals for the summer.”

Tenant: “I think I’m going to the gym today”.

Me: “I need you to transplant a few bushes too.”

Tenant: “Sure, just tell me where. Wanna get sushi tonight?”

Welcome home son. I know I’ll miss these poignant moments all too soon.

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