The male child is away - left yesterday morning.
It has ended up with five weeks of camps this summer using the simple technique of signing every piece of paper that passed under its nose. It spent the first few weeks after school got out lolling on the couch in the mornings and then spinning things all afternoon (and playing hide and seek. And wrestling. and doing other "team building" activities). But no more. It's leadership camps and ground school for the rest of the summer.
The refrigerator has remained stocked for an entire day. There was no percussive clapping or random thumping on surfaces. No one took the broom/hammer/shower rod out to the back yard and left it there to be watered by the sprinklers. Socks have not sprouted like mushrooms under the ottoman or the curtain.* We have not been serenaded at odd hours with choice bits of Sweeney Todd and no one has pulled out a cello to see if they can pick out the Band of Brothers theme song. The Highly Reactive Sibling has gone un-harassed, its buttons remaining un-pushed, its personal space pristine.
It's not like home at all.
*That's not entirely true. The sprouting has slowed considerably, and is no longer a dingy grey and crunchy. Now it's all red with polka dots or blue with little stripes.