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The Long Holiday Break

Some of you have mixed feelings over the fact your children are getting ready to return to college after what might seem like an endlessly long holiday break. 

Kevin Williams with daughter Alex (Facebook)
Kevin Williams with daughter Alex (Facebook)

This is especially true if they are freshman and you have been experiencing your first taste of what life is like after a few months away from home. It’s certainly been different.

I remember talking about this the first time my son came home during his Christmas break from Penn State nine years ago.  Many commented on how they were dealing with the same issues and wondering what happened to the son or daughter who had left them in August because what returned about four months later was quite different.

There is not a year that goes by that someone does not approach me about this subject and it was only a couple of weeks ago that I had a 10-minute conversation with a parent about her freshman son. It was a case of déjà vu all over again as she recounted stories of his first two weeks at home after being in North Carolina since August.

What has happened is your 18 year old has discovered freedom and even if you gave them a lot of space before you have learned the hard way they want and expect more.  Let’s face it. They have been living a life without curfews or having to make their bed or wear neat and clean clothing.

Of course for parents it’s been a case of “out of sight, out of mind.”  You can’t see what they are wearing or what their room looks like. You don’t even know if they are in the room at 3am on a Sunday morning.   However when they returned home it was a different story and you might have had some battles about responsibility and expectations.

Of course they keep telling you that it’s their vacation and you’re thinking that they seemed to have plenty of fun while they were at school. What are they actually taking a vacation from.

So now your child is getting ready to head back to school and you’re experiencing some guilt because a part of you is actually looking forward to some peace and quiet.  Don’t feel bad;it’s normal.

However there will be day you miss the noise. Believe me because it’s how I felt when we dropped off our Alex at school last weekend.  The noise will return during spring break. It’s only 7 weeks away.

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