The interesting thing about our oldest being gone is that we didn't miss him right away. That doesn't mean we didn't notice a difference or that we didn't like him. Senior year of high school was very busy and he wasn't home much. Also, he has been away from home for various camps.
The second week was different. The kids were a little crankier with each other than usual. One sibling starting looking for Daniel before she remembered that he was in Brazil. I would do the head count and feel that something was off. "One, two, three, four, five. There is supposed to be 5, why does it feel wrong?"
Joseph has moved up in the world. We treat him less like a little brother. I rely on him more to do most of the things I used to ask Daniel to do. Most. Not all. Joseph doesn't have the height or the long arms to reach the high places. However, he can provide muscle when needed. He also can be the one in charge when the parents are not home. We had to have a little discussion about what that meant. He had the notion that being in charge meant that he was the sibling overlord.
With the added responsibility comes some benefits. He is now as he phrased it "in the circle of trust". That means he gets to be Santa's assistant after the younger ones go to bed Christmas Eve. He is very, very pleased. Kermit thinks that some of the added responsibility will mature him. It just might. I'm not sure that anything would completely tame him. I'm not even sure I want him completely tame.
Hannah seems to be the one who most misses having her older brother close. He has been a constant presence in her life. She tends to like having her loved ones accessible. I remember when she started 1st grade. She was nervous. I don't think she would have gone to school except that she knew her big brother was at there, too. They never saw each other, but just knowing he was in the building calmed her.
I don't know what will change as we adjust. One person definitely makes a difference in the family dynamic.