You raise your kids to grow up and be their best, never fully realizing that one day they will leave the house for good and chart a course of life adventures completely beyond any parental control. So it is that my oldest, somewhere out in the Pacific, is beginning a deployment with his squadron. My middle son is just wrapping up his BFA and pondering his future in the theater (and most recently debating his followers on Facebook about the merits of the Hamilton soundtrack -- I think he makes some very good points). And my youngest is wrapping up his first year of college.

Days that were once filled with carpools and school plays and sports and the family dinner table are now wide open, with infinite possibilities. Infinite. And yet without the laughter that fills our house so nicely, and the sound of the piano, and even the arguments that come with raising young men, that broad canvas of time can have its moments of melancholy. Even an introvert like myself, so fond of locking the office door and losing four hours to the construction of a paragraph, longs for those moments of connection. I give thanks for every text, every phone call, every sudden appearance at the front door with a load of laundry.

Be safe, boys.