My twenty-two year old son is home from college for the summer. He has one more semester left before he graduates and is interning at Simplot in Strategic Optimization this summer. The atmosphere in our house changes when he is home. The top 10 changes are:
Number 10: The day of arrival the front door and entry hall, approximately 12 feet square, are blocked by a 36 inch smart TV, 30 boxes of size 14 shoes (my son collects Nikes and resells them online) and numerous boxes of assorted sizes filled with who knows what.
Number 9: The second day of arrival the smart TV, playing rap music, can be heard in the entry hall through the door of my son’s second-floor room. The entry hall otherwise remains jammed with college gear. The closed bedroom door is marked Scott Kozisek, Please Knock.
Number 8: By the end of the first week home, the entry way is empty except for a large backpack propped against the wall and camel pack, laying on the steps, both will probably remain there all summer. My son’s possessions are now leaching out of his bedroom filling up the 12 by 12 landing at the top of the stairs and hindering access to the playroom.
Number 7: Household dynamics are slightly off kilter, like falling down the proverbial rabbit hole. My son is a vegetarian, a dozen eggs last three days instead of a week. Grocery shopping is expanded to include tofu, dozens of eggs, chocolate milk,whey protein. Our three car garage is challenged to provide parking for our fleet of four cars, juggling cars and keys is now the norm. Beautiful sound systems up and down stairs play competing music with jazz, James Taylor, and Carole King dominating downstairs and hip/hop, rap, and electric dance music echoing through the upstairs.
Number 6: I hear the front door opening and closing at 2:30 or 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Or I don’t hear anything and get a text in the morning about crashing at friends. I have to continually remind myself that my son is an adult and can make his own choices. My tongue aches as I bite it to keep from saying something that I may regret or may damage our relationship.
Number 5: The dogs, Shani and Violet, whine and beg to get out of my office where I am watching TV or working on the computer whenever their hero, my son, comes in the back door. This adoration for the lost boy is somewhat annoying since I continue to do all the feeding of the pets.
Number 4: I hear shouting at 11 p.m. between my daughter’s and my son’s bedrooms about a large bug that must be removed from my daughter’s ceiling fan. My son’s removal efforts result in random dust explosion and the bug being knocked off the fan onto my daughter’s bed. More shouting erupts when the bug in a remarkable rebound returns to the fan. Using my daughter’s belt, the bug is exterminated by my son. Because my daughter is unwilling to touch such an ugly thing, my son must extricate the insect from the down comforter. Placing the bug in the trash will not do. It must be flushed down the toilet to ensure the room has been de-bugged. I hear the vacuum turn on. I go upstairs to investigate. My daughter is vacuuming her bed, guaranteeing no other bugs have lived through the dust bowl event and removing the remaining dust mites from her quilt. Interactions of this nature will ensue throughout the summer, when previously the upper floor was silent.
Number 3: The amount and quality of conversation at the dinner table has increased geometrically with the addition of a third adult. We have moved from discussing high school and the weekly schedule ( who is going to be where and when) to discussing politics (no one in our family likes Trump though there is division on which Democrat to support), upcoming music and events in Boise, hit summer movies (who has seen what and who wants to go to what) and weekly schedule (who is going to be where and when). We managed to coordinate well enough at dinner to allow us all to see Captain America Civil War together the first week it was out. A good movie for families with kids 13 and up. We have also managed to schedule our Father’s Day Celebration for Wednesday, June 15th attending Alive After Five. That was the closest date, we could find when we were all in town. Kayla has a particularly busy summer traveling to camps and mission work all over the country.
Number 2: I have someone to watch streaming of Dare Devil , Season 3 on Netflix late at night. We are moving on to Jessica Jones. My son is watching the third season of Peaky Blinders, his favorite show. I watched my first episode this week. Peaky Blinders received a rave review in the Wall Street Journal as a fabulous period piece. Focused on Irish gangs in London after WWI, the episode I watched was bloody but haunting. My daughter by comparison and I watch Bones, America’s Got Talent, Kids’ Baking Championship and Chopped.
Number 1: I get regular hugs for making coffee in the morning and for packing lunches to send out the door to work.