Posted by: jeannineatkins | August 23, 2007


Today I watched the three kids of a friend in need for the day. I can’t say I won any kind of Mary Poppins award. We barely made it to the Eric Carle Picture Book Museum. Three kids in the back of my sedan, one in car seat, and dialog like, “Do you think spitting and licking will accomplish anything?” (older brother)

“You NEVER accomplish anything.” (younger brother)

“I NEVER want to see you again.”

I wish I could say some art and hungry caterpillars brought peace to us all, but it didn’t. We ate lunch, middle child shook up his root beer to predicatable results in the cafeteria, and while dealing with that, some apple juice spilled. I used up a lot of napkins, then we were pretty soon heading back to princess puzzles and video games back at their home.

After I gave their mom a hug (wow, did I ever mean it), I was driving home where my own girl was packing for college. We leave tomorrow. E. declined my offer of an iron she deemed antique. She isn’t far off. When has she used one, either? Somehow, she will survive. Now I’m washing clothes while a friend’s mom cooks E. and a few other friends dinner as part of the deal of not seeing them much of the summer. I’m getting pre-used to the quiet house, while shaking off visions of all the pinching, squirming, furtive seatbelt unbuckling then buckling, squealing, name-calling, spitting, licking, denial that can be packed in one back seat on a ten minute drive.

Children. Growing up. What a wonder it all is.


  1. My “baby” heads to college next weekend and I’m having a hard time visualizing the house without her!
    Good luck with moving-in-day!

  2. what a beautiful and funny post.
    i had my four year old and his best friend (also 4) for most of the day–they get along pretty well, but their dialog is hilarious. i can’t imagine packing him up to leave for school. *sob* best of luck to you and your girl as she embarks on this next great adventure. =)

  3. Good luck next weekend! I am right now trying NOT to visulize that empty house! My husband is freaking out, my daughter is freaking out, and i’m pretending not to freak out. Hmmm, come Monday, it might be my time to be a total wreck.
    There is evidence that people do survive this….

  4. The leaving thing is all steps, I guess, from first babyless trip out of the house, to those annual back to school things. Of course this one is huge, but lots of great memories to look back on.

  5. Hey, if you ever feel the house is too empty call me and I’ll come over! 🙂

  6. that’s right–well said. =)

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