first posted here under my pen name, Bushkill. I love these writing prompts.
Last day of summer break. 8-24-17
I watch my son, a handful of days before his nineteenth birthday. He is surrounded by packed boxes.
And his sisters.
The boxes belong to his sisters, they will be seniors in college this year. His stuff, packed and sent off the day before with extended family, will be waiting for him when he gets nearer his own college later today. For him, Freshman year is about to begin.
The three of them sit and binge watch NCIS, Gibbs-slapping each other at appropriate times, and I wonder if they will ever be back here again like this. Certainly, the seniors could find gainful employment and not return post graduation.
I yearn for that. Not that I don’t want my little girls back, but that I want to see them successful and adulting. That’s their generation’s word for moving on with all things post both school and living at home.
And my son, too, is more outgoing and willing to accept challenges to earn a buck. He may find employment around his college that is better for him than traipsing back up into the mountains with us, miles from humanity and meaningful work. This really could be the last time they’re gathered like this, shorts and t-shirts, lallygagging at the end of summer.
I ask him for a hand in the back yard. He built a fire-pit this summer and had his friends over for a backyard s’mores event. Now, summer over and his friends experiencing their own diaspora, I need a hand getting the benches back up onto the deck.
It occurs to me that I will be responsible for all snow removal this year, too. It’s been more than a decade since I had that job to myself. It’s not just the driveways, the deck is large and needs the weight of accumulated snow removed also. The young ones helped greatly in that task but, as in all things, they have grown and move on with their lives.
So yes, summer is over and my children are dispersing to their other lives. In the ashes of their departure, my wife, that woman who was replaced by the mother of my children, and I rekindle the hearth-fires.