September 7, 2016
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Our schedules are not the same, but somehow the rhythm of them work together well. I harken back to sophomore physics class in high school when I learned about wave patterns and how they build on each other or level each other out. My 24-year old’s schedule and mine must complement each other, because we both have busy patterns that result in a calm, even, relaxed, joyful household.
When he returns home very late at night, long after I have gone to sleep and only a few hours before I wake up well before dawn, he leaves signals of his status. If I hear nothing, he has probably gone straight from re-setting the alarm to bed. If I hear the microwave, it means he is hungry and needs refueling before sleep. If I see lights going off and on, he is moving from room to room, taking care of odds and ends tasks before hitting the hay. Sometime exhaustion precludes me from sensing those things, but the morning evidence reveals much.
This morning, like many mornings, I first noticed the microwave door was open. The low-wattage bulb barely lit the kitchen as the open door kept the light burning. Clearly, heating food was part of his actions when he returned home. The plate on the counter had chicken bones (leftover fried chicken never lasts long in our house), as well as barely discernible traces of leftover mashed potatoes and cooked carrot coins. He must have had a hearty appetite when he got home!
I smile as I close the microwave door and rinse the dishes for the dishwasher. I notice the box of leftover pizza is empty, only to find out shortly thereafter that he took the three pieces and put them in a storage bag for safe keeping in the refrigerator. I suspect the pizza was either lunch today or will be dinner tonight.
I enjoy watching him grow as a man and in all the roles involved. The tell-tale signs are everywhere, ranging from dirty plates to bags of boating or fishing gear, to fishing magazines and school books, from shoes in every room to the work uniform he wears as an operations manager. I feel like an archaeologist, discovering my son’s life in the things I find. It’s a good role, that. When our schedules don’t allow for the overlap we enjoy for conversations, I learn by looking and listening.