Eyes still crusted from sleep, I close my bedroom door quietly, and notice a dull light coming from my son's windowsill.
His door is open. Anticipating the reason, I quietly pad out to the living room. The ceiling fan is on, and there is a long-legged lump on the couch, encased in a fuzzy ivory throw blanket.
I tiptoe past him and into the kitchen, the rubber dots on my sleep socks making soft sticky sounds on the linoleum. I get my coffee brewing as quietly as I can. Foregoing my usual routine of emptying the dishwasher and reading in the living room, I pass him again on my way to the study.
Soft light on, I begin to type out my post. I hear the coffee machine beep. A figure moves in my peripheral vision and a door clicks shut.
The couch is empty except for the discarded blanket. I empty the dishwasher, pour my coffee, and make my way back through the dark to the keyboard. I feel no annoyance over the disruption of my morning pattern, only the bittersweet acknowledgement that these ghostly encounters will come to an end as college begins in the fall.