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  • laurenwhitehurst8

Summer Milestone

I wrote this about ten days ago and never posted it. It somehow didn’t seem complete. Today, I’m re-reading knowing my kids fly to Colorado tomorrow for two weeks, and it feels like the right time to share. I am full of anticipation, so excited to see them, even knowing it’s our last two weeks as a foursome for quite a while…

Today is a summer milestone. Jim and I leave for Colorado this afternoon, and our kids will follow ten days later. We take Emma directly to school from Colorado, so we won’t be back together again until Thanksgiving, and we are unlikely to be back together in New York again until next spring.

We still have weeks before our family disassembles to colleges, but I am feeling melancholy about today. In part, it’s because we have family and friends with us for much of the time we will be together in Colorado, so life as a core unit does feel like it is coming to a close. In addition, though, it feels a little like the end of a journey because we spent this summer figuring out how to make New York feel a little more like home.

When Emma landed from Rice in May, and when Jack Lyft-ed home from school across town, none of us knew what it would feel like to be a family in a West Village condo less than half the size of our old house in Durham. There were times when it felt a little small –e.g., when Jack wanted to play video games, while Emma wanted to watch a show on the big screen, while Jim was on a Zoom call in the office right next to the TV. But we worked through it. Now we’ve established regular haunts for dinner in our neighborhood and norms for where we sit when dining at our kitchen counter. We found our order-in sushi place, our closest subway stop and the path for our evening stroll along the river. We know how long it takes to walk to Washington Square Park, and we all can navigate to and from Soho without checking Google Maps too often.

When I next return to New York, Jim and I will be down to one child at home, and within the next two days, we’ll be moving the other back across town. I have end of summer stomach butterflies, as I start to anticipate our kids fleeing the nest again.

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