Opinion: Countdown to emptier nest


My baby is home from college! For the next 102 two days. I know because I checked. And I may or may not have started a secret countdown to his departure in August.

It’s not that we don’t love our oldest, who just completed his freshman year at IU. He’s generally kind and funny and interesting to talk to. But we’ve gotten so use to not having him around that when he returns, everything seems out of whack.

For starters, he uses a lot of space, both physically and audibly. He’s 6-foot-3 and loud, and mostly unaware of either. On the car ride home, my youngest commented on his incredible ability to hijack the minivan with his person and stream-of-conscience-like chatter: “Mom, I can’t get away from him! Every time I turn up the music, he purposely raises his voice.”

To fuel that large frame and chatty-Cathyness, our oldest consumes millions of calories a day. I’d reduced my major Meijer runs to once a week, but we are already out of milk, bread and Kraft products. He’s been here less than 24 hours. Sweet mercy, our grocery bills are going to take a major hit.

And finally, though it doesn’t sound like a big deal to reduce a family of six by one teenager, it is. We enjoyed an entire school year of one less kid to keep track of and lose sleep over. Now that he’s back in sight, he’s unfortunately back in mind. And I’m not prepared to worry about four children again!

My baby is home from college for a 102 days. Wish me luck.

Peace out.