Six a.m. and the child-pitched voice of Mowgli awakens us. Too early for me, but his excitement and stumbling articulation is endearing, warming my heart rather than grating my disposition.
After school, the boys and neighborhood friends detour through our house to shorten their walk home, greeting us, stopping for bathroom breaks, and helping themselves to snacks.
On weekends, the boys’ and their friends come and go, adding life to what could be a very routine existence.
All these memories are from the past. A combination of adolescence, shelter-in-place, and intolerable heat has driven the boys upstairs alone emerging only to find food and little else. Mowgli drifts through the kitchen to the pool occasionally. Any time downstairs other than meals is spent in his mother’s room. Their conversation and laughter remind me of the entertaining child he once was. Is it a suggestion of the man he will become?
What we missed most when C-boy left home was the congregating of his friends. How blessed we are that our children had good friends, respectful of and affectionate towards adults. Admittedly, C-boy hosted some memorable get-togethers in our absence forcing us to cancel plans that would leave him home alone. For the most part, though, the presence of our children’s friends was a gift.
So here we are, sheltered-in-place but not really together. The roomy upper floor is perfect for the two boys but allows them to hide away from sight and sound. Their access to the internet allows them to socialize with their friends while avoiding family games and movies downstairs.
We defer all care to ED, standing by as needed. As we watch her excellent navigation of single parenthood at this time, we are thankful to be “only” the grandparents. We are standing by, looking forward to the time when the boys reappear.