"Dave, our oldest is working as an attorney, our second oldest is halfway through grad school and just called me to say she'll be in town for a riding instructors workshop, JJ is just about to start grad school, Pen is terrifying the FBI field office in California and you've chosen Spence as the one to say you feel old?"
They both sigh, at that point because Aaron might not say it they are both feeling a little strange in a house without any of the kids. Derek is currently in New York working for a child victim advocacy group, partially as a counsellor and partially as a lawyer. He had a dog (which Emily teased him about) & a girlfriend, which none of them teased him about. Emily has come back for a visit with Jules (who she's just gotten engaged to, which Dave is still processing because hey, isn't Emily still nine?) and her horses - she's been doing a lot of work with equine therapy, while Jules works at SRT and regularly causes fretting.
Pen however is genuinely terrifying the FBI field office. In the nicest possible way. Sometimes Dave wonders if she and JJ took classes in it when he wasn't looking and decides yes, it's probably fairly likely.
And now, the baby of the family (who he swears was only learning to walk and climb up things five minutes ago, what can he say) has gone off to college and the broader universe. Educating mathematics professors along the way, obviously. He knows that honestly, he and Aaron have very little to worry about but he's learned that one thing about becoming a parent is that you always worry, even when you make sure to hide it from your children when it's not productive or useful worrying.
"Hey, they'll come back to visit, you know that right?"
"Yes, but it doesn't help the whole empty feeling of not having them here that is currently eating in to my brain."
"Yes I am upset by the absence of JJ playing whatever it is that..."
"Yes, that. And Spencer and Emmy stealing my record collection"
"Pen painting on everything" puts in Aaron from his position under Dave's arm.
"The neat pile of riding things outside Emily's room." "That time JJ and Emily tried to do the laundry."
"And Derek tried to cover it up"