Ah! The return to peace and quiet. Such a welcomed relief. Has it really been a month since we stood anxiously waiting at the front door to welcome our youngest home from college?
What greeted our arms that first day of spring break was an avalanche of dirty clothes - which had me wondering what happened to all the quarters I consistently donated to her, away from home, laundry fund.
Isn't it funny how time can change your perspective on things? Take for instance the difference between sending your children off to college for the first time and then welcoming them home for spring break. When children fly the coop in the direction of a college campus it is heartbreak mixed with a bit of parental panic.
We make sure they have everything from stamps to socks, phone cards to baggies filled with quarters (which don't get used for laundry) and enough snacks to stock a mini-mart. Our hearts are heavy, our little nest is empty, and for a few days we sulk in silence. But, we parents, we're pros at adapting to change. We surprise ourselves at how quickly we regain our sanity and over dinner for two one night we reach for each others hand, lovingly look into each other's eyes and say, "Hey, I remember you!" In the quiet of a second honeymoon mentality we discover that middle age can be blissful. But, wouldn't you know, just when we thought we were cruising on the highway of love, spring break rolls around.
The house was cleaned and organized in anticipation of spending quality time together as a family. Oh, but aren't we parents a hopeful bunch!
The house was abuzz with not one but two college co-eds, doubling the chaos, doubling the fun. Their dad filled the gas tank, took it for a spin through the car wash, and bid his pride and joy a fond farewell for he knew it would be awhile before he'd be in the driver's seat again.
For one week our home seemed to have a revolving door that never closed, a fridge door that was constantly opened and a phone that never stopped ringing.It hasn't been easy but we're learning to have a sense of humor when dealing with 'independent' college kids who have one hand on our wallets and the other on the car keys.
The insanity of spring break is only a temporary condition. And, though we do miss them terribly, in between visits, we know our kids never leave us, for summer vacation is right around the corner.