One More Year
This last week found me in an unfamiliar place, my house. I don’t mean my house is unfamiliar as we have lived here now for over 12 years. What made things different was that I was here at the house by myself. Well, the dogs were here with me but I was the only person out of the 6 of us that was actually living here. There have been many times I have had hours or maybe mornings or afternoons to myself to work on jobs or tasks but this was full days! I didn’t have to stop what I was doing at 3:00 to make sure I had snacks ready for when the kids came home after school. I didn’t have to make sure I had dinner on the table at 6:00 when my wife got home from work. It was just me!
If you know us or read any of our blogs, you will know that our family is growing up quickly and some have even moved out while some are just away for a couple of weeks or for the summer. My wife has been traveling a lot for work, which isn’t unfamiliar to me. Number 1 was home for awhile this summer to visit but her home and life is in Texas. Number 2 is in California still living her dream with The Young Americans. Number 3 has been in Tanzania, Africa all summer on a study abroad program and won’t be home until the second week in August. That leaves Number 4, my 17 year old, my travel buddy, my partner in crime lately. He’s still home with me for the summer but has been gone this past week in the Big Apple. and has another week ahead of him as he was invited to a theater intensive at PACE University.
For the past 22 years my life has been programmed around taking care of my kids. From diaper changing, regular feedings and nap times to being daddy chauffeur to what seemed like endless number of practices and games to now this last week of nothing. My world changed just like that and it gave me a glimpse into what my life will look like in a about a year from now when Number 4 graduates from high school. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t complaining last week. I was working on projects, cleaning out the house, organizing rooms that hadn’t been touched in some time. I wore what I wanted because I had no intention of seeing anyone. I didn’t shave all week but did shower because that would have been gross.
By the end of the week, it started to dawn on me that this little alone time was quickly going to turn into way too much alone time. Being a stay at home dad for all these years makes it hard to then transition into not being a stay at home dad. I am friends with a lot of men that have had to switch things up once the kids are grown and I have been mentally preparing for this for some time now. I am sure there will be an adjustment coming for me next summer when we leave Number 4 somewhere for college and I come home to our empty house. For now I will look forward to his return next week and seeing Number 3 in several weeks.
Getting ready to start school again will help me to not think about what is coming just around the corner. I plan to enjoy every minute of this last year having one still at home. I am not sure how much Number 4 will love it with me bugging him all the time. Perhaps he will realize our days will quickly be numbered and he will appreciate the attention. Probably not lol.