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If only the breaks would never end

Jeanne Sager - Columnist
Posted 1/6/20

It used to be the quiet that marked the difference between school break and my daughter's return to the regular routine.

Life with young kids means cartoons singing in the background and repeated …

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If only the breaks would never end

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It used to be the quiet that marked the difference between school break and my daughter's return to the regular routine.

Life with young kids means cartoons singing in the background and repeated requests for someone to make them something—anything—to eat.

The cartoons have long since been abandoned.

She can make her own food, and sometimes makes some for me too.

Teenagers can certainly be loud. Their music. Their feet on the stairs. Their voices peaking as they reach the highest level of excitement.

But much more there is quiet. The quiet of mornings spent lazing in bed. The quiet of afternoons as they hide away in their bedrooms. The quiet of evenings as they swipe through their phones, ears encased in headphones that separate them from the world and you from the voices playing the soundtrack of their lives.

It's the companionship that marks the difference now. The person to chuckle at an Internet joke. The body on the couch beside you as your fingers race across the keyboard. A presence in the house that may not be seen but can be felt.

I've never been the type of parent who yearns for the school breaks to come to an end, and there's a certain privilege in being able to say that. Although I'm a working parent, my work has largely afforded me the ability to do everything from home, greeting her as she climbed off the school bus or descended the stairs in the morning.

But it's been as the teenage years have descended that I've become all the more somber as the days tick by toward the end of the vacation.

The quiet will always be here. The presence, on the other hand, has only a few more years left.

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