The seaman is back, ready to put the waves behind him forever and making noises about staying in Chicago after all. It is all I can do to sit on my hands, bite my tongue, and refrain from falling to my knees with a heartfelt "thank you jesus" that he might stay within shouting distance.
In the meantime, he's living at home, except he's not. I can count on one hand the meals he's shared with us since he got back, and the conversations lasting more than a few minutes. Gentle suggestions that he might contribute financially in tiny ways (buy every third bag of coffee?) are met with blank stares or amusement. I think back to when I was a young adult on my own for the first time, and realize that I never thought about my parents at all. I'd go "home" periodically, but when we were in Chicago I just never thought about them.
How strange, then, for my son, who is in that same life phase, where we are peripheral if not actually superfluous, and yet here he is, living in our house. He can't not think about us when we're underfoot all the time.