Home Alone by Sharon O’Donnell

The boys have been home alone over the past several days. That means the our college sons, ages 21 and 18, stayed with our 12-year-old son while my husband and I enjoyed several days away in beautiful St. Petersburg, Florida. But since boys will be boys as they say, we were a bit concerned about them all getting along, about the competitive juices flowing too much when playing basketball or video games, and about whether or not someone would remember to take the dog out once and a while.

Alas, we shouldn’t have worried. Evidently, they all got along better when we weren’t there than when we are there. I think the two older guys stepped outside of their ‘brother’ role and into a more parental role, feeling a new sense of trust and responsibility. Our oldest son actually told our youngest that he would take him to see The Hobbit at the movie theater if the youngest cleaned his room first. And he did. The middle one took him to a college basketball game and out to
eat at a cafeteria — per my request — so that they could get some vegetables to eat.

And for my husband and I it means another milestone has passed. If we ever need to get away for another quick rejuvenating vacation, we know our oldest sons can handle things at home. It feels strange to feel that kind of freedom again.

The oldest two boys,done with their roles of responsibility, have now moved back into their other roles as brothers and sons. And as college students. The oldest will be off to a college bowl game in Nashville, and the middle one is going to a concert this week with friends. They will go, I think, with a renewed appreciation for us as parents and with a new confidence in themselves. And my husband and I are thankful for some much-needed time away. We are almost home as I type this. I really hope someone remembered to take the dog out.