The O-Bird Has Flown The Coop

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Returned home to a home just as we left it. Curious, wonderful, at last. Please know that children venturing finally from home is as satisfying an experience as it is sudden. Poof! Not here even though there is a bag of chips on the the nightstand, rumpled bedding and an opened sock drawer amidst the full laundry basket, the lacrosse gear and the flotsam of 13 years of public schooling. This layout recalls scenes from a crime drama where the person of interest fled hastily.

Last night, I was able to interpret the creaks and whistles of a sleeping house as the familiar even reflexive signals that Owen was just home. I even imagined the refrigerator opening. At 0300, I left the bed to make sure that he wasn’t here.

This occasion is as satisfying for all as it is opportune and unknown. His college dorm room is the width of three single beds with two actual single beds for him and his roommate. There is a small fridge and a microwave, a board of a desk and an open closet for his one suit, 7 pair of tennis shoes, winter clothing, lacrosse sticks and an 8 pack of toilet tissue. His first field report described a satisfying first night’s sleep, fun dorm-neighbors and a full day of campus orientation. “Dr. Livingston, I presume?”

Down from the mountain, we celebrated with a game of tennis; a late and lengthy cocktail hour; and Chinese take-out, the leftovers of which were, indeed, leftover when I opened the fridge this morning.

Right now, it seems as though Owen is away at summer camp. I won’t get started on how too-accurate is this resemblance to modern university life and practice. I’m sure that the regularity of reality will set in soon for us all. He’ll miss home-cooking and we will experiment with a replacement metronome for our lives. Even though the end of this family chapter, despite its lengthy forewarnings, seemed to arrive suddenly, we were ready for this denouement- honestly all eager for it. I believe that since life is short, children should set their own sails as soon as practical. Although only three hours away, he’s ventured over the horizon, his future fully his own. Of course, we remain the financiers and the warehousing service which will pretend to keep us connected to his numerous adventures. All in all, it’s everyone’s occasion to examine the familiar and, perhaps, opt for change. I think that I’ll see what it’s like to have Chinese food for Sunday breakfast.