Everyone always uses the expression "the pitter-patter of little feet" to talk about their children, but when your kids are teenaged boys, in excess of 200 and 150 pounds respectively, it really isn't a pitter-patter so much as a thunder. Still it weird when two kids who are always around, suddenly aren't.
My kids don't have "friends" per se and are almost never gone from the house (except for school) without us. The 18 year old doesn't have a part time job or a girl friend or even a pal that he accompanies to movies. These are all things done with myself or the DH. Most parents of typical kids have their kids go on sleepovers or go over to a friend's house to hang out after school or go play a pick up game of basketball at the neighbor's hoop or ... something! Around here, the boys are just always here. That made this past weekend extra strange.
Last blog (Camp Weekend) I talked about how much the boys enjoyed their time away from us and what we had to do to convince Alan to attend, but I didn't talk much about what DH and I did to keep busy. The first thing we did when we got home from dropping them off? Turn off half the lights in the house. Whenever Alan is awake, at least 10 lights all over the house are burning. Why? No idea, but like with so many other things in our lives, it just doesn't seem worth fighting but with Alan gone, let's turn off those lights and save some money!
Another one of Alan's quirks is that whenever someone flushes the master bathroom, no matter where he is or what he's doing, Alan has to go and flush the hall bathroom. Again, no idea why, but it was pretty weird to listen to the master bath flush and not for the subsequent run to the hall bath. Also our bathroom lights have dimmer switches right next to them and Alan just always dims them before turning them off -- for some reason these are not amongst the 10 always burning lights -- so you just get in the habit of turning up the dimmer when you turn on the lights. DH and I both said we were still reaching for the dimmer on Sunday afternoon so apparently that is a fairly ingrained habit.
The things we missed in a bad way were mostly a result of Joe's general helpfulness. We actually had to unload the dishwasher ourselves and take out our own recycling -- two things we have probably done less than 10 times in the last 3-4 years! The cat also missed Joe because he always gives the cat fresh water every morning. It took me until Sunday afternoon to remember to get him fresh water. Hey, I remembered to feed him at least!
So while it was nice to sleep in and go out to eat where and when we wished and watch what we wanted on TV any time, it was really weird not to have the boys around ... and not always in a good way!