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About Magnificence in the Mundane

Bringing humor to the many challenges of parenting, driving a gigantic SUV full of smelly boys and their friends, letting go of the idea of perfection and tackling middle age all serve as my inspiration. We all have common experiences, I just share my take on the absurdity of every... Read more

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Summer Blog Day 7: Coming and Going

doorSo, on this the last day of the summer blog, I got fancy and included a picture.

Yeah, that’s me, fancy.

As I thought about how to wrap up this series, I noticed that the front door was open. Again.

And that was it.

The door.

Our simple, black front door really served as the symbol of our summer.

In June, junior coaches snuck over and hung swim banners to kick off the season. It’s not summer in our house unless the swim pennant graces the door.

Reed left through that door every day for camp up the street. I pretended to be angry if it was left slightly open. But honestly, it allowed me to watch him as he rode his bike; getting smaller and smaller until he was out of view.

The new freedom of a car and license made Mac’s outings more frequent and lengthy. Many a night, I unlocked the door for him as his curfew neared; breathing a sigh of relief when he actually walked in and locked the door behind him.  The turn of that dead bolt meant we were all safe and accounted for.

Drew was in and out of that door more than anyone. With a job, coaching duties and a ton of friends he was rarely home. His dependency receded every time he left as he was growing up before my very eyes.

We crossed the threshold when we returned from vacation; refreshed but knowing that nothing beats home sweet home.

We welcomed family who know that our door is always open for a few hours or a few days.  We also greeted countless friends looking to grab the boys for golf, fishing, adventures at the creek or just hanging out.

Murphy proved his unwavering devotion by camping out at the entry each time we left. He lounged in a sliver of sun awaiting our return. The panes of glass flanking the door were his window to the outside world. He was never happier than when we came into that view; home again with him where we belonged.

Every time the chime announced “front door,” I waited for the “Mom?” sure to follow. In our changing world this was my reminder that they still needed me. They are happy to have me as a presence in their lives.  For now anyway.

In August, we ushered in senior year for one high schooler and freshman year for another. Now the kids hustle out the door in the morning for new carpools and students are dropped here for rides as well.

Did it make me crazy that they never remembered to shut the door behind them? Sometimes. But as long as that door was open, their departures remained less final and the growing absences less jarring.

That open door was hopeful; a harbinger of their imminent return.

One day I will long for the carelessness of a door left ajar and the haphazard nature of these summer days. Yet, I know all these seasons together have instilled in my children at least one thing.

Our door is not a barrier. It is a gateway. As such, it will always swing wide and welcoming whenever they return to us.

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Maureen Stiles

About Maureen Stiles

Maureen is the author of the blog Magnificence in the Mundane. You can read her monthly column at The Town Courier.


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