Big Shoes

I always wake up early when we are close to our NCWIT semi-annual meetings — so much going through my mind. What will the conference program look like? How will our conference guests get through security at the National Academies? Is there going to be enough food? Does the keynote speaker know the right address for the building? How does one refer, properly, to a member of Congress? And on and on.
All this month, leading up to our NCWIT meeting in Washington, D.C., I was up a lot in the middle of the night, thinking about these things. When I wake up in the wee hours, I usually get up. It’s hopeless to just lie there.
So I wander downstairs, start the coffee (thank goodness for coffee — I’ll need a lot), give the cat her Fancy Feast, and head outside to get the paper. But this morning, as compared to other mornings, is different. There are more baseball caps on the hook in our front hall. There are clothes slung over the stair rail. There are more keys in the bowl on the table by the front door, and shoes on the rug (big shoes). And, there is a golf club on the lawn out front, wet with dew. Casey’s home!
Casey is our 19-year-old son, a freshman (soon to be sophomore) at the University of Colorado (CU). Somehow, in the middle of the night, Casey moved home for the summer. I was sleeping – how’s that for a welcome? Now there’s an extra TV in the dining room, and more cereal in the cupboard (Casey loves cereal). At this early hour, I’m drawn to think about Casey when he was a little boy. Now, he’s over six feet tall, soon to move to a condo with some friends, hopefully on to a finance degree at CU.
In past years, I would have been hyper about the mess — put this away, put that over there — but now, I’m able to let it be. Let’s leave the TV in the dining room: who cares. Cereal boxes everywhere? Bring it on. My husband and I have been fortunate — we have been able to be with our sons, and also have meaningful IT careers. We have survived the daily calls for balance; the emergencies: the babysitter that’s sick or has quit or is gone, the carpooling, the out-of-town soccer games, the homework at night. We know it can be done. You can do it, it’s just hard.
And now, somehow, after “surviving it all,” we wish for it all over again. What’s up with that? It’s that golf club in the yard that mysteriously appeared after midnight — Casey is home!

Photo copyright unclebigbrown, Flickr. Lucy Sanders is CEO and Co-founder of NCWIT, and her front hall would NEVER be this messy!

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