Friday, August 29, 2008

Playing your part

I'll save the big philosophical discussion of all the roles we play in life (mother, daughter, wife, director, friend) for another day.
Today I'm talking more about the emotional roles we seem to trade around in our family. My husband is the worrier. I don't usually have to anticipate what might go wrong or stay up waiting for our teens to get home because he does those things so much better than I ever could, but if he doesn't take the job on for some reason, I fill the gap. This would be why he's snoring right now while I await our daughter's return from a concert. I'm the interpreter. I explain possible positive motives of daughter to father and back again, and I'm far too frequently the arbitrator, finding compromises between the same two people. Yes, she should be allowed to go to Europe with friends when she is 17 and a half and yes she should understand when he cross examines her about same proposed trip.
I'm the comic relief and sometimes the scapegoat. He's the organizer. I am perfectly capable of packing a suitcase. At work, I'm the one who spends far too long getting the books to fit just right in the booksale box, but at home he's the one who packs the trunk.
I'm the grand schemer, full of ideas and enthusiasm. He's the reality check but he has also been known to find a way to get it done. I'm the traveler, always ready to go adventuring. He is the steady light shining in the window so we can always find our way back home.
There was no real point to this one, just something I was thinking about while waiting for the return of the prodigal daughter.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Time Passages

We celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary this week, my son started his freshman year of college today and this year marks 25 years since I graduated from the same college. This feels like it should be traumatic or momentous or something. Mostly I'm tired. I will say with gratitude that boys bring about half as much stuff as girls, going by casual observation of the piles that formed on the quad as parents and students hustled to get everything out of the cars within the 15 minute time limit.

Another moment worth remembering: My husband later remarked that my idea to get there early and unload then wait for them to arrive was spot on.

The rooms felt even smaller than I remembered. His roommate got there 2 days ago so he was sleeping when we arrived and already had the wall away from the door claimed as his own. Nick did get his bed lofted so his desk and refrigerator are stored underneath it. His dresser is in the closet. I am impressed that they got his bed lofted within a few hours of his request. It feels so much better when you can arrange your stuff.

He called already, sounding quite perky (yes, perky, not a word I use for Nick very often). He was hanging out with another boy from his high school who is also in the Honors College and apparently the professor who is in charge of the Honors College gave a very inspirational welcoming speech. He is probably in his 40's or 50's and lives in an apartment in the same dorm as Nick. What's rather frightening is that I can see Nick doing that and being perfectly happy.

We were actually alone in the house together for several hours. How weird is that? I guess we can start getting used to it. I figure we have another 40 years in us, after all. Well, I do!