A couple of weeks ago, our oldest stayed here in his old bedroom for a few nights in between moving out of one apartment and into another one. When he left, he took more of the things he'd left behind. His dvds are no longer stacked beside our TV. His boxes of books are gone. His room, though not yet empty, is looking less and less like his room. The day he "moved out" left me feeling sad and lonely all over again. This morning, our youngest left for a week to work at a camp. Not a big deal, I know--she'll be back on Friday. But when she left, she took the car that just this past weekend became hers. As I watched her drive away, she seemed so grown up and so independent. She needed no help packing up, no help getting where she needed to go. And here I am feeling a little lost and lonely in a big empty house again. It's not just that I'll miss her this week, though I will, or that all the comings and goings are hard to keep adjusting to, though they are. I think that what is underneath it all is the ongoing realization that life as I've known it for so many years is changing. My kids are right on schedule--they are growing up and becoming independent. I wouldn't want it any other way, but that doesn't make it easy.