They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. With that in mind, the thought of our three teenagers being gone for most of spring break makes us love them beyond words. In fact, the only way we could love them more is if they each found jobs and an apartment while they were gone.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that we don’t enjoy spending time with our kids. Of COURSE we do! What kind of parents would we be if we didn’t enjoy the lighthearted banter we share each day, such as when I say:
“You need to wash your plate.”
And without skipping a beat, they reply:
“You’re ruining my entire LIFE!”
Ha! Ha! That’s why they are called “kids!” Not because they are like stubborn baby goats who, given the chance, will run horns-first into your knee caps. No! It’s because they’re kidders! So who are we, as parents, to selfishly deny them from spreading that kind of joy to others for five whole days during spring break?
Needless to say, having the house to ourselves for a week is going to take some getting used to. For example, we’ll have to get used to opening the refrigerator and finding more than just an empty carton of orange juice and some spilled ketchup that has dried into something resembling a fruit roll-up. Plus maybe someone’s gym sock.
We’ll also have to get used to taking warm showers since, without three teens using enough water to hose down the entire Budweiser Clydesdale team, we’ll actually have more than 90 seconds before a lack of hot water turns our morning shower into an audition for So You Think You Can Dance?
And I’m not sure how we’ll get used to turning on the television and not having a minor heart attack because the volume was apparently set for someone who lands fighter planes on an aircraft carrier. That’s assuming we can get used to finding the TV remote in the first place since those kidders won’t be here to leave it somewhere — such as between the couch cushions, in a different room completely, or in the shower. Actually, that might explain why the volume was so high.
Yes, not having our teens at home for a week will take some getting used to. In order to prepare ourselves for what we know will be a difficult transition, my wife and I have spent time talking together about our feelings. This has been extremely helpful. Once the giddiness passes, anyway. Which I blame on the wine. Not to mention that cartwheel I attempted.
But hey, we needed an excuse to get a new coffee table anyway.
I’m sure it will be different when, before long, they leave home to find their own way into the world. Suddenly, all the things we’ve come to accept and experience on a daily basis as parents will end. Once again, not having them here will take some getting used to. Especially knowing it’s for good. When that day comes, there will be tears. There will be hugs.
And no, there won’t be any cartwheels.
Not with what we just paid for that new coffee table.