They flew the coop.
The chickens, that is.
And so, I guess, did the boys in my house.
Our family hatched eggs this Spring.
As a rite of passage, my husband and son incubated and raised chicks.
As babies are wont to do.
Those chicks turned into birds.
They went from small and fluffy to large and feathery.
They were trying to fly.
It was time for them to move on to their permanent residence.
So, this weekend, my son and his father relocated the chicks to a farm.
And then, waving, they pulled out of our garage and drove away.
The baby and I stayed behind.
I expected it to be a peaceful weekend.
No peeping birds.
No smell of chickens.
No worrying about whether their water was clean or if one had escaped.
No cries of “Mama! Mama!”
No “Uh, oh, she spit up!” or “I think she lost her paci.”
No feet pounding on the hardwood floors.
No jumping from the sofa to the ottoman and back again.
No snatching toys from the baby.
No sounds of vrooming trucks and chugging trains.
No little body climbing in my bed at 6:30 am, sharp, to let me know that his toddler alarm clock told him it was okay to get up.
No countless visits up and down the basement stairs to see his “baby chicks.”
No mad dash sprints to the potty.
No streams of never ending questions.
No “We can just pretend.”
No wrestling matches or bear hugs or arms clinging to my leg.
No finger paint in the bathtub or crayons at a restaurant or chalk on the sidewalk.
No serenades of made up songs.
No bicycle riding or rockwall climbing.
No “One more sip of water” or “Milk, please” or “I love you, Mama.”
Just me and the baby.
And the silence that roared louder than the sum of all the normal sounds of our home.
We had brunch. Twice.
We went shopping.
We cuddled on the sofa and rocked in the chair.
We read touch-and-feel books.
I got a massage.
It was exactly as I expected.
Calm and relaxing.
But maybe, perhaps, just a little too sedate.
I’m glad my chick is on his way back home.