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Sadness and Joy (repeat) (#981)

Topics/tags: Autobiographical

I dropped Eldest off at the airport this morning. Each time I drop a child off at the airport, I’m a bit sad. Middle left on January 2 for Winter Training. Eldest and I dropped Youngest off at the airport on January 4. So I got to experience a lot of sadness recently. And now we’re empty nesters, at least for another week or so, until Middle returns.

I love having my kids home. It’s great to have any one of them here; having all three home at the same time is a privilege. I enjoy seeing how they interact with each other, I take pleasure in playing games with them [1], and I revel in the opportunity to chat, talk, argue, and discuss with them. And, as I hope they know, I’m proud of each of them; Michelle and I seem to have succeeded in raising good young men [2]. It’s particularly nice to have them home when I don’t have grading and other work to do.

But now they’re gone. And they’ve reached the times of their lives in which it’s likely to get harder and harder to get everyone together at once. I expect we will get pairs of sons together relatively frequently, at least for the next few years, but having all three may be a once-per-year occasion, if that.

On the other hand, even having one son around to play games with and interact is a privilege.

That will also happen less often, particularly as Middle moves on to the next stage [4] of his life, which should happen this Summer.

Such mixed emotions! Perhaps I should reflect on the things that are better when they’re gone. Let me see.







Oh, I know! The window shades stay up when my sons are not home [7]. I’ll take joy in the little things.

Postscript: Santa brought everyone a grey t-shirt with an R on the front. I regret forgetting to get a family photo with everyone in those shirts, or the annual holiday pajamas.

A grey t-shirt with an R on the front.  The observant viewer may note that it's the Raygun R.

[1] More on the Rebelsky Games will appear in a separate musing.

[2] I won’t say more details or raise any minor criticisms [3] since they value their privacy.

[3] We’re a critical family.

[4] I’d written next state of his life, but stage is probably appropriate, especially since he’ll be in a different state [5].

[5] Why do we say stage rather than state. He will no longer be a college student, so he’ll also be in a different state of being. Perhaps it’s just that, as a computer scientist, I think of stateful systems [6].

[6] Obligatory incomprehensible CS-related dad joke: If people are stateful systems, does that mean that they are not functional? Or perhaps they are just impure.

[7] I prefer bright lights. My children generally prefer dimmer rooms.

Version 1.0 of 2020-01-09.