Saturday, February 26, 2011

Back in Town

I remember stories of my sister going off to college. Considering our sixteen year age difference, I was only two years old at the time, so I do not remember her ever living at home. However my brothers surely noticed the difference when she left. My Mom says that one of my brothers exclaimed that “Now that Linda is gone, it’s like a morgue around here!” Yes, she had obviously been one to liven up a home and her absence resulted in, well, quieter accommodations for our family of seven.

I may not have felt or heard the difference back in September of 1970 however exactly 40 years later, I would finally understand the situation when my daughter moved to college.

It’s not that my eldest daughter was ever a loud individual. Although she was happy and content and could easily appreciate our family’s regular silliness, she was always rather serious in her thinking (much like her mother) and yes, a quiet child, relatively speaking. But she was the oldest and in that role she put herself in charge of getting her two younger siblings to goof around or to know when the house had been too quiet for too long. Without her around this past fall, things settled down a bit. Less frequent sibling squabbling. Fewer crazy chases of one another around the house. Oh we were still having fun and we all had our silly loud moments, but on a day-to-day basis, the house became quieter, more tame.

Indicative of her happiness at college, she has come home only four times in the six months she has been gone, busy with dance team and theater practices on weekends. But with each visit home, Sydney flies into the house and immediately launches into stories of campus life and of her academics. She is always quick to share her life with us all and we love that. Her big laugh and spontaneous hugs catch us by surprise and I once again hear odd voices of characters she creates or mimics to help us crack a smile. And then she grabs her guitar.

She impressively strums chords to several songs and sings the lyrics she’s masterfully memorized. It’s beautiful. I listen to her singing but after awhile I hear her sister yell to her, “That’s enough. I want to watch this show”. Sydney laughs and goes to put her guitar away for the time being. She plops down in the chair for some quiet time but then asks if there’s ice cream. “Look what I found! A big bucket of ice cream in the freezer down cellar!!” she exclaims. Okay, so much for the quiet time. Both girls then begin yelling knock knock jokes and for some reason Sydney runs upstairs to hit me in the face with three big bananas. (Don’t ask. I am no where close to understanding this but apparently they are both re-enacting the old Amanda Bynes show they watched as children).

This house will be nothing like a morgue for the next two weeks of spring break. Batten down the hatches, make sure there is ice cream in the freezer, and go find your quiet time elsewhere if you need it. Yep, the college girl is back in town.


  1. Are you inferring
    that perhaps I am a
    "loud individual" ? :-)

  2. It's nice to get a glimpse into your crazy, but loving, household.