With Kaylee in Germany and Chelsea in her own place, the normal bustle of the house has decreased. Less to cook, less to clean, less chauffeuring to do – no wonder people without kids or with only one get so much done. I’m glad Chelsea found a place; staying with us and saving up money would have been a smart move, but sharing space with an adult child provides new challenges that weren’t good for either of us. Evolving from parents-daughter to roommates isn’t easy, and I found myself complaining and criticizing nearly constantly. She needs to keep growing in a way that wasn’t happening here – and we need to let her come into her own. But my relief at her finding a place to move into is tinged with guilt. Surely a better mom would want to keep her child closer? And although when she moved back in, I felt the additional pets made the animal population too high for one house, I am nonetheless distraught by how freaked out her cat and dog are over the move to the new place. Our cat misses his brother terribly. The new place needs a paint job and thorough cleaning – and a raccoon keeps coming in her window! But the location is good and the roommate nice, so I’m trying to focus on the possibilities and not judge solely on the home’s current state.

Chelsea’s a hard worker when motivated, though, so I have confidence she’ll bloom even further now that she has to – she could’ve risen to the occasion living with us, true, but growing beyond the dynamics created throughout her teen years (oh, god, those were tough years) wasn’t something any of us were doing particularly well. Hopefully she’ll kick herself into gear, fix up the place she’s living in, save up some money, get her driver’s license… you know, do the basic things one needs to do to support oneself. And we can have family dinners every Sunday night, meet up with her at Crabs’ games, pick her up for a surf jaunt. Maybe she’ll go back to school… Ah, a parent’s little dreams. As long as she’s happy and healthy, right?

Speaking of happy and blossoming, Kaylee’s trip to Germany is a huge success according to the few phone calls and emails we’ve received. She’s awestruck and otherwise thrilled to be experiencing this new place, this adventure. (“The food is soooooo amazing!” she said via Google chat.) Even though the expense has left me penniless through June, it’s worth every postponed bill, every late fee incurred – speaking of maturing and saving up money, I could improve upon that myself. (Would’ve been fine if I hadn’t also switched jobs, creating a four-week span between paychecks!)

K’s relatively quiet at home, but her presence comforts me; despite my joy at her success, I miss her terribly. I wonder what we’ll look like to her when she returns, if our life will seem smaller. Will she want to keep traveling? (I hope so.) Will the slings and arrows of high school not wound as deeply, now that she knows so much world exists outside of that one? (Again, I hope so.)

Odd to be home with just “the boys.” I try to avoid gender stereotyping, especially as my own experiences illustrates the flaws inherent in thinking boys are one way and girls another, but truth is, switching from a female-dominant house to being outnumbered by the guys is a little weird. I will have to figure out exactly how to articulate why that is and perhaps revisit the subject. Right now, I need coffee and to get on with the day. (The swell’s dropped… a little less wind… a possible surf session in the works…).