2013-08-18 – Twenty years ago this month, my wife Kit and I took our 18-month old son Nat on a vacation to a cottage on a lake in Wisconsin. Kit was eight months pregnant at the time with our second son Cal. Today Cal is going off to college in Iowa.
This is not his first year, but this leaving seems significant. Last year was his first year, filled with promise. This year the promise is still there, but the promise is joined by reality. Last year it was an adventure. This year it is routine. Our youngest is crossing over into adulthood. There is no return.
If this sounds wistful, it is. The arrival of the boys changed our lives. That was exciting and frightening. The change became a new normal. This time is like that. For Kit and me, the new normal is that our boys are visitors.
Okay. We’re not totally there yet. Nat still lives in our house. But he works late hours as a chef and I see him a couple hours a week at best. Cal just spent the summer with us. But he worked part of the summer and he has his friends and he was hardly around. He’s not totally gone. But almost.
Kit is talking about her and me going on a vacation ourselves soon. It would be the first time in more than 20 years. She’s taking classes. I’m rewriting my novel. We have plenty to do. But it just won’t be with our boys.