Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Summer Home from College

I’m sorry it’s been so long. Fortunately my computer issues are as resolved as they’re going to get for now, and I’m trying to get caught up. Again. In the meantime, this is an old post I ran across that I never published. Hope you’ve enjoyed your summer!

For several weeks now, I’ve been asking him if he would be ready.

He blew home at the end of spring, and the house just hasn’t been the same all summer.  He dropped his things in his room where he stood, and they’ve stayed there since, some of them still in garbage bags.  Years ago I learned to choose my battles, and my son’s mess was such a mighty contender that I surrendered early on. 

He left a collection of dirty dishes near the computer in the basement.  He left bags of chip crumbs and little plastic yogurt cups for the dog to get into and then vomit up. 

He worked on his car in the garage whenever he had spare time.  It became a hangout for the kids, like their own private annex.  They set up chairs out there.  The tools and car parts were everywhere.  Greasy black fingerprints marked a path through the house.  I cleaned them, but they appeared with such regularity that I gave up, figuring I’d wait till after he went back. 

And then, the day before he was due to move back to college, I got home from work.

His car was put together, and the garage was cleaned out.  As in, clean.  The black fingerprints were gone.  His room was packed up and as clean as it gets.  The lawn had been mown.  He had done all that I had asked and then some.  It was all so neat and clean, it broke my heart. 

Ready?  Guess so. 

“I’m going to make this the Summer of Socks. I’m going to go all out. Gallery crew socks, short socks, knee socks. Maybe hose, even. But socks, definitely socks.” ~Eleventh Grade Girl


  1. What a lovely post, Tammy, and so true. We get aggravated, and keep it to ourselves, and then they surprise us...because unbeknownst to us, they've grown up...

  2. Wait! They come home for the summer? I have something to look forward to now. Of course, first I'm going to enjoy my well-deserved vacation from making sandwiches.

  3. You had me in tears at "the garage was cleaned out" — gotta love 'em, doncha?

  4. Ahhh, this was such a sweet post and reminder of how quickly time passes. It reminds of the preschooler's poem: I always leave my handprints on furniture and wall, but one day I'll be grown up and oh so very tall, then my little handprints will be so hard to recall. :)

  5. Loved that little story, Tammy. What a terrific reminder to all Moms.

    Critter Alley

  6. I love this! That was really nice of him to clean everything up so well before he left. You have a true prize in that boy.

    Kathy M.

  7. Yep. I'm with Lynn. Beautiful. And boy, have I been there. *sigh*

  8. I love this post Tammy. So sweet... I know this feeling of messes everywhere. I will try very hard to let it remind me that he is here. Home. With me. Because soon enough, he won't be...!


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