The only sound in my house right now is the rumbling of the drier. I'm digging my way out of the piles of sheets and towels left limp and crumpled in the wake of our college sons. Because they go to different schools, our Christmas holiday was spread from mid-December through last Saturday when we dropped Jonathan off near the "Departure" door at the Lubbock airport.
For several weeks, I have been starving for several contiguous hours on the clock free from interruption during which I could bang out blogs on my keyboard. I tried my best not to bristle when asked, "Mom, have you washed my new jeans yet?" or "Are we outta that cheese I like?" My computer was overtaken by my three sons who gathered around the screen to watch webisodes of online sitcoms and viral youtube videos. I found myself anxiously waiting for them to scurry out the door to lunch with friends or to make a run to Best Buy to "look at stuff." Like a young mother racing towards a sink full of dirty dishes when her baby finally closes its eyes for a nap, I raced to my computer with my head full of words to tap out on my keyboard.
I've heard it said that the best way to attract your children's attention is to lay down on the couch and take a nap. That was true when my boys were in elementary school. Now, sitting down for a satisfying hour of blogging does the trick. Like the buzzards that float just above country highways, the boys slowly begin to gather near. Sitting on the bed just across from my desk, they begin with innocent idle prattle. "Hey, Mom. Do you think there will be good snow in Telluride." From my focused reverie, I surface to reply, "Probably." "Are you going to make that good recipe with that meat and that crust while we're skiing?" "Mm. Hm." "What time do you think Dad will be home?" "The usual." Slowly and methodically, they begin to chip away my deep concentration. Then, the lay up shot. "Say, Mom. We were kind of wanting to watch a movie on the computer. Will you be on much longer?"
I click on "Save Now" and push the chair back from the desk. There sitting in a row on the bed are my three man-boys - as big as men, yet not men. They are grinning sweetly at me as in and effort to seal the deal. A tiny part of me wants to scream, "Go! Right now! Go find something quiet to do for at least an hour while I enjoy myself for a moment!" Then, I soak in the power of their presence in our home. After weeks of separation, there they are all together just like the "good old days." I squint my eyes and imagine that they are little boys again dressed and ready for a baseball game. I remember the times when peaceful play with a treasured toy like Buzz Lightyear snowballed into a rolling ball of fisticuffs. "Will you boys please treat each other with respect?!"
At ages 18, 22, and 23, they have become good friends. Seeing them standing together in my kitchen gives me a simple joy that is so complete. I gladly turned over my spot at the computer many times over the past weeks. Now, I have it all to myself once more. The house is quiet. Hello, Blog! I've been missing you. The drier is buzzing. I must push away from the keyboard to answer the call of the clean sheets.