My daughter graduated from high school last Thursday. We had the party yesterday—more people than we've had in the house at one time in a long time (probably since her brother's graduation party six years ago). As in so many parties, a natural sifting occurred; her friends all went downstairs to the den while family and grown-up friends stayed upstairs in the living room and kitchen. The only ones who navigated both places were the cousins who belonged to both groups, and the graduate herself who came upstairs on a regular basis to greet newcomers and say goodbye to departing guests.
It's quiet now. We've put away the food, washed the dishes, and put most of the chairs back around the tables. In a premonition of empty nest, my daughter spent the night with a friend. It's so damn quiet around here!
Wait, she's back. A reprieve from quiet—for a few months, anyway.