They all are very different from each other and, still, so very much the same. When all are gone, our lives are very different than when they are all home. When even just one of them is away, the rhythm of the house is different, somehow off-kilter. Something is missing –someone teasing someone, someone’s loudness, someone’s quietness, someone’s insistence on arguing about everything. I think that the five of us have very familiar cadence, removing even one of us renders all of us out of equilibrium. Interesting that an odd number of us can seem so correct – so properly weighted. While they might not readily admit it,  even the other boys missed their brother, you could tell by their behavior.

When all of the boys are away, we have something different planned to do — there is something to look forward to, something to make the house not feel as empty. When just one or two of them are gone, we still tend to our normal routine, we are just “a man (or two) down” and that is really just not right. Same is true when Tom travels, we are off-balance, out of sorts. The routine is there …but it is somehow different — altered.

All of the boys are home as of today. Life has resumed its normal course…the rhythm of the house has returned this evening. As I type this, I can hear their banter and it is soothing. Life is good, life is as it should be.