I sort through their clothes, fill backpacks with school supplies, vow to stay on top of the paperwork. We send them off swinging lunch bags, running to find buddies. Kindergarten is a new adventure. Fourth grade is old hat. She's not too big for one last peck on the cheek. He's not embarrassed to sign "I love you" through the car window. And I'm thankful for that.
Returning home after a meeting, I suddenly find myself alone for the first time in months. It's so quiet. The dog sleeps. There are murals to paint, photography jobs to schedule, and pieces of furniture to refinish. There are checkbooks to balance, loads of laundry to fold- always plenty to do. But today, during that first hour alone, I sit and eat a bowl of cereal in silence. And it's a good start.