My youngest graduated high school this June. In a few weeks, he'll be off to start his post-secondary education and we will, officially, be empty nesters. Here is a rare photo of just Sam and I. I'm usually pointing my camera at him and his sister or we're all four dressed up for a family portrait.
This one was taken at our family reunion this summer. Poor kid was in the middle of exams, plus had to write his valedictory speech while the rest of us were enjoying a very social weekend.
In some ways he has been weaning us of his presence for the last two years. He likes to game. He had quite the academic workload, graduated on the honour roll, and held down a job all through high school, rarely going to parties, so we really couldn't complain that when he was home, he liked to plug into Skype and shout, "Team! Where are you?"
Also, as someone who has spent pretty much his entire childhood plugged into her own computer, I wasn't in a position to criticize. But I miss him already.
Which is why I'm grateful for the Olympics right now. First, I'm grateful there's something making headlines that is positive and fun. We've had a rough go in the news lately, haven't we?
And I love that the games are something we all want to watch. On a typical evening, I might watch Mindy Project or Jane The Virgin. My husband would watch nonstop Clint Eastwood if I let him. Our son watches his own programs on his computer--something called (I might have it wrong) Roostertail? Or anime or things that stream on Twitch? He loves watching world gaming championships and sometimes gets up at ungodly hours to catch some of that before going to work.
But the last few evenings, we have all sat together watching beach volleyball and swimming. Today I took a break from writing and the two of us watched girls gymnastics, oohing and wowing over their incredible acrobatics, rooting for Canada.
Sports really do bring people together.
A month from now, when I'm blue because my house is quiet--something we think we want when it is endlessly noisy and messy--I'll be able to look back on this two weeks of watching the games with my son and think, "At least we had Rio."
Dani Collins is a USA Today Bestselling author for Harlequin Presents, Tule's Montana Born and herself.
Look for Bought By Her Italian Boss, Harlequin Presents, July 2016, The Secret Beneath The Veil, Harlequin Presents Sep 2016, and His Christmas Miracle, Montana Born, Oct 27, 2016.