Sep. 10th, 2017

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So now Aran has moved out.  That's two out of three of the boys gone now.  And we have the blowback.

The house is quite a lot emptier and quieter.  Aran's car isn't in the driveway anymore, but I find myself expecting it.  He doesn't pop into my office to tell about a piece of fanfic he's writing or the latest super-villain he's created.  The weekly grocery bill has dropped sharply.  Cookies stay in the cookie jar longer.  We don't hear the pipes rattling in the downstairs bathroom in the morning any more, or Aran's music wafting up from the basement through the ventilation system.  He's conspicuous through his absence.

I've had to readjust my cooking.  Subtracting a 20-year-old from the table changes the equation quite a lot.  I always cooked with the idea of having a few leftovers in mind so I can take them to work for lunch, but without Aran around, the leftover level jumped.  I have to halve a pot of chili now, and there's still a lot left.  A little chicken goes a long way now.  I have to be careful not to overmake.  I mistakenly did up a brisket that delicious but just too much for the three of us, and I froze the remainder because it would go bad before we ate it.  I'll disguise it in a stir fry or pulled BBQ sandwiches later.

I actually end up with the house to myself fairly often now.  This is also strange.  Aran is gone, and Maksim works after school a few days a week, and Darwin is work until 6:00, so the house is big and empty with just me in it.  I'm not used to being in the house alone.  It was a rare event after Aran was born in 1997, and almost never happened after we adopted Sasha and Maksim in 2005, and I became used to a great deal of traffic in and out of the house, the bedroom, the kitchen, my office.  Working at home was always a bit of work interspersed with a series of interruptions.  Overnight, this has all but ended, and it's odd.  I feel like I should be attending to a stream childhood or teenage problems or just general conversation.  But Aran and Sasha's problems have been relegated to long-distance.  They have SSI paperwork, and bank paperwork, and payee paperwork, and state paperwork, but all that can be done when I wish.  No one barges in and makes me drop everything to fill out an SSI form.  Oddly, I've gotten used to working with interruptions, and I'm finding it hard to work without them now.

All this emphasizes how huge our house is, and reminds me that, once Maksim is established as on his own, we'll have to sell it and find someplace smaller.  We were comfortable with four in this house, but it's too big for two.

Darwin and I are fast heading for an empty nest.
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