Somewhere in my yard a bird is stereotypically remarking, "Tweet, tweet. Tweet, tweet. Tweet, tweet." I have no idea what kind of bird this might be, but like all of the birds in my yard, it is loud. By 5 a.m. the baby crows are screaming, the pileated woodpecker is wailing, the goldfinches are quarreling with the purple finches, the blue jays are cursing at each other, and the nuthatches are bouncing up and down the tree trunks: "Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep."
And now I am laughing with my son as he walks out the door to catch the schoolbus. And now I am sitting alone in my kitchen, listening to robins trill and sputter among the maples and the lilacs.
The school year is winding to a close . . . my last school year as a parent. No more emergency signing of silly forms as my child rushes out the door. No more sandwich making and last-minute track-suit laundering. No more hunts for lost books or lost phones or lost shoes or lost water bottles or lost anything else you can think of. No more frying eggs at 6 a.m. and listening to a summary of yesterday's baseball and soccer scores, or to loud explanations of why Faulkner is better than Orwell, or to rap battles from Hamilton, or to declamations from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, or to angsty dramatics, or to bubbling-over epiphanies, or to political tirades, or to dumb jokes about elephants, or to ineptly performed vocal beat-boxing, or to braggadocio in the voice of the cat. No more giant spontaneous hugs. No more forgetting to say goodbye.
By this time next year, I will probably be waking up to different loud birds.