Home for the holidays takes on a whole new meaning when your son or daughter goes off to college.
I'll never forget when our oldest, Colby, came home from college for that first Thanksgiving. He immediately headed for the refrigerator to check out what free food he could find, and then he just sat down and looked around the front room. He was amazed at its size. The kid had lived there for seven years. But he saw it so differently now, bigger now after squeezing all he owned inside a dorm room.
That's what he noticed the most that first visit home, I noticed other things. Colby had gotten taller. He did his own laundry. He even took out the garbage without being asked to do it.
It was great seeing all the changes, but I soon realized that when you are a parent somethings never change.
Even though Colby had been away and on his own for three months, I still worried. I still slept with one ear open and one eye open waiting for that garage door to go up signaling he was safely back in our house for the night. I still wanted to know what friends he saw the night before or how so and so was doing at school.
Colby has now graduated and will be coming home for Thanksgiving for the first time since being an employed person. You know what, I'll still wait up and want answers. Can anyone out there relate?
Oh, I forgot to mention, he's not the only son coming home for the holidays. Our youngest, Kevin is a sophomore at Gonzaga. He'll be home for a whole week over the Thanksgiving break. So, come Saturday when he arrives, there'll be little sleep for me.
I'll still have one eye open and one ear open, waiting to make sure he gets home safely. Like I said, when you are a parent and the kids are home for the holidays, somethings never change.
I'll have some more thoughts about this on my blog in the future. Stay tuned, we stil have a couple of more days to prepare our empty nests for those returning college students.