## Friday, October 27, 2017

### Differential Equations

Though experts say you should never compare siblings to each other, it's almost impossible not to. While I appreciate the distinctions between the Heir and the Spare, and parent each one differently as a result, sometimes the evidence of those distinctions is sharp.

The other day, I was driving in the car with the Spare in the passenger seat. He was watching a video on his phone and I was listening to the radio. A YES song came on, triggering many vivid memories of a summer from my youth, and I turned up the volume. The Spare proceeded to turn up the sound on his video. I increased the radio, he upped his video. We quickly reached a standoff.

"Really?" I asked. "You do realize this is YES, right? A classic song by a classic band? You should listen to it, seriously. They lyrics alone are amazing."

At this point, he conceded that he could just pause his video and listen, which he did. But I couldn't stop thinking of what a stark difference the situation was from similar instances with the Heir. In those cases, a song would come on the radio, we'd both reach to turn up the volume and then both start singing, one of us the melody and the other the harmony, while the Spare rolled his eyes in the back seat and plugged in his ear buds.

This is just one example of how dissimilar the Spare's and my personalities are. I'm not complaining, it's just interesting. When he and his father are together, they share everything related to food, sports and nature. They really are of like minds. But my husband and I are also very similar in many ways, so it's surprising to me that sometimes, the Spare and I seem so very different.

In moments like this, I miss the Heir. I miss moments of shared excitement over something as small as a song on the radio we can sing along to together. Perhaps that's why, in the last few days, I'd be in the middle of a task and a not-yet-conscious thought worked its way forward in my mind. "Where is Jacob today and will he be home for dinner?" Or, "what time do I have to pick Jacob up again?" When I became fully conscious of each thought, it made me sad to realize he won't be home until Thanksgiving week.

I get the whole empty nest concept, and will surely miss both my sons dearly when they've moved out of our home for good. But with the Heir gone, I think I'm feeling it much more acutely than I will when the Spare heads out on his own. And it's likely my husband will feel then what I'm feeling now.