Quiet house left with echoes of lessons learned

The past few years it has been a pretty quiet time around the old household. The kids left the household a few decades ago and return once or twice a year. If that doesn’t make for long spans of quietness, the household silence is compounded by the fact two of the grandsons are on their own – busily employed – and living a fulltime lifestyle of 31 and 27 year olds that leaves little time for grandpa and grandma.
Meanwhile the other two grandsons, ages 14 and 12, live in Texas and are involved in year-round sports, which means they grace our doorstep infrequently.
Don’t misunderstand me, we’re not complaining. We manage to run them all down either in their home state for a few days or journey to dine in-state with the older lads on occasions. However, when we return home we find the old home place seems quieter than ever.
At a recent social gathering with a few of us “seniors,” we found we were not alone in our home-place quietness. During the evening our conversations eventually centered round the topic of  “What I didn’t know until we had kids.”  
The subject matter took us back many years, but these topics were familiar, particularly to the Betterhalf
How bright a full moon is at a 3 a.m. feeding . . . How little sleep an adult needs and can still function ... The distinctive sound of a sleepy husband after he stepped barefoot on a wet diaper that was left on the floor near the crib after a midnight changing.
And as the kids grew older ... which lines of “Green Eggs and Ham” can be skipped over without the kid noticing... That reverse psychology does work on humans under three foot tall... Why anyone would bother retracing a 20-mile journey to find a lost teddy bear left on a car roof ... That temper tantrums are sometimes an effective way of getting your way at a toy store.
Now as the kids got older still we learned ... That you can never have too many fridge magnets ... We thanked the inventor of microwave oven ...  How to spell amoxicillin, let alone say it correctly.
Our list could go on and on, but we empty-nesters would exchange some of today’s house quietness for a repeat of many of those past experiences.

RL Furse  is publisher emeritus of the News-Register

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