Placing the car in park, I shut off the engine. Almost by muscle memory, I performed my routine: grab empty coffee cup from the cupholder between the two front seats; disconnect iPhone from the stereo system; open car door and grab computer bag; sling bag over shoulder; close car door. Always the same. Always the same.
But I knew today would be different.
I made my way across the driveway as the March sun silently filtered between large maple trees. And as I pushed open my front door, I was greeted by something uniquely unfamiliar- eerie silence.
No Hi Papa! bursting from the tiny vocal cords of a two-year old.
No voices chattering about how to improve the blanket fort.
No Mama, I need a snack! No arguments about saving room for dinner.
No confrontations about setting the table.
No debates about the merits of bathing or brushing teeth.
No desperate searches for favorite water bottles, stuffed animals, special blankets.
No figuring out how to read Boxcar Children to two older children and Goodnight, Gorilla to another.
No requests for bandaids or drinks of water right after the lights are turned out.
None of that.
Just peace, quiet. Choice and sanity.
But I miss the chaos.
And I can’t wait until it returns.
Note to readers: My family flew to see relatives Tuesday. I will be joining them this coming weekend.