Slice of Life Tuesday: …after the children have left

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Sunday evening.  Two children have caught their trains back to the city, and one has just pulled out of the driveway and begun the drive back to college.

The house feels emptied of its soul.

Quietly, the dog and I weave our way through still and lifeless rooms.  We pause here and there to pick up odds and ends:

…a ticket stub from a concert

…a to do list in preparation for finals

…stray notes from a paper just submitted

…parking tickets folded over and over, as though to fold them into oblivion

…a business card from a too-cool for the parents restaurant somewhere deep in Brooklyn

…mismatched socks

…the debris of late night snacks: nibbled apples, the last of the pumpkin pie

…coffee cups,  cider mugs, stone cold camomile tea

I stand very still, close my eyes, and can hear their laughter … even the sound of their breathing.  They have left the house, true, but they are still here….



19 thoughts on “Slice of Life Tuesday: …after the children have left

  1. Ah- I felt as if I was right there in the house with you. Your slice is a preview for me of next year. This was my last one with both children still in high school.
    The house being emptied of its soul- that is my favorite line. But it makes me ache.

  2. It seems that there is always an emptiness after a holiday. The hustle and bustle getting ready for the day, the joy and excitement of having everyone together, and then the quiet when all have departed. Luckily memories live on and we can relive all of those precious moments.

  3. The joy of family gone is felt a bit sharper when you still have the lingering scents and sounds. Slowly life will return to its quiet hum, but then they will return for Christmas, right? I loved walking beside you and the dog, beautiful!

    • The word gone needs to be deleted. I started to write something else but then deleted, but apparently didn’t read until it posted. Argh!

      The joy of family is felt a bit sharper when you sill have the lingering scents and sounds. That’s what I meant. 🙂

  4. Oh.. I know this is my too near future. I am not ready – clearly as I am sobbing. Thank you for helping me prepare through sharing your story. I will end work and now and remember to cherish the chaos that is currently occuring in my house.

    Thank you

  5. This is why I start the cleaning nearly immediately, to savor the memories & keep busy. This is lovely, a prose poem from your life, Tara. Thanks for capturing the moments for many of us.

  6. this is absolutely wonderful and the captures the happiness, sadness and wonder I feel every time they leave….every single time a good way…and as you scurry around picking up the pieces of their new lives intertwined with their old ones, it reminds me too that Gibran was right…these children are not our children..they are sons and daughters of the universe yearning to be free….with roots and strength that grew in our homes… and wings eager to fly to adventures we cannot even imagine….

  7. What a bitter sweet beautiful moment you’ve shared Tara! I love how you used the ellipse to add pause-I could picture you reflecting on that moment as you shared what’s left of the visit! Hold on to these beautiful memories!

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