With a quick hug and I love you, my son walked out the door.  He has been back in our home for the past month, but it was time to head home to Madison.

It is strange, how you slowly get used to one more person in the house.  The extra clothes lying around the house.  The way the groceries disappear a little faster.  The television constantly being on in one room or another.  The extra loads of laundry needing to be done.

With my oldest son, there is also the pacing. 

I think even as a toddler, he was constantly in movement.  He always was moving a little faster than his body was ready for him to go, and chronically wore a bruise or scraped knee as he grew from toddler to preschooler.

As he grew older, he was always in some sort of sport, organizing the need to be on the move.  We were constantly driving him to soccer, basketball, football and baseball.  One season after another, one sport after another.

This season in my life is strange. My kids are still constantly moving, just now it is moving in and out of the house. Three of them are adults.  They come back from school and bring their things and then move them back out in the fall.

What is stranger, is when you know they will not be moving back in again.

My son hasn’t lived full-time in my home since he left for college six hears ago. But he usually spent the summers and holidays here. I know there is a good chance this will be the last time I spend a good month with my oldest in my home. 

It is a good thing when your children are on their own.  It means they are ready to “adult”.  It means we did our job as parents.

We tease, it is time to go.  We don’t want the socks in the hallway and the dirty dishes in the living room.  (To be honest, I don’t really want the socks there or the dishes in the living room.)

Yet, when he walked out the door, there was just a strange stillness in the house. No footsteps as he wandered around talking on the phone.  No walking around while he watches the NFL playoffs.  Just quiet floors.

It is sad when they walk out the door.  Never quite knowing when they will walk back in again.  They walk out taking their socks, conversations, teasing and friends with them.  They take a their lives with them and go.

It is quiet.  It is still.

The nonstop movement of children in my home is slowly coming to an end.

We will adjust, just as we adjusted to the loud, crazy house filled with kids.

But for now, it is just quiet. 

A little too quiet.  Just me and a few quiet tears as the seasons in my life change.

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