To My Only Child As You Come Home from College

There I was, going merrily along, minding my own business: work, tennis, play, house, work, friends, tennis, work, sometimes almost forgetting there was a young man out there who was still tied to me with an invisible, translucent cord.

There you were, happily enjoying your first semester away at college: football, classes, freedom, football, new friends, partying, football, hopefully some more classes.

And then you came home for a long weekend.

I was so excited for you to come home—it had been two months. I missed you so much—I wanted to hear more about your teachers, your new friends, what college football is really like. I wanted to know more than I was able to learn in our typical 4.6 minute phone calls or via random text.

But your high school friends, who were also home for the weekend, were equally excited to see you. So your three days suddenly became jam packed with Chili’s, Netflix, visits to the corn maze, trips to Savers, and hanging out at your old stomping grounds (note: no mothers allowed).

Most of the weekend, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I had a lot of free time—I could have caught up at work, dug more into books I am reading, organized my summer clothes. But I couldn’t manage to do anything.

Welcome to Weekend Funk.

I wandered restlessly around the house, around the yard. Watched autumn leaves fall from the trees and thought about death. Thought about all the things I could be doing to be more productive. I ate donut holes, and Reese’s peanut butter footballs, both of which were most definitely not part of the 21-day eating detox I just finished.

I took a nap for two hours on Sunday afternoon—I think in the end, I simply exhausted myself. I had just gotten used to you not being here, and then suddenly, there you were. Your sarcastic wit, your big hugs when I could steal one, your clean clothes all over your bedroom floor.

You were home for dinner on Sunday night, because I insisted. “We’ll have a family dinner!” I said, excited.

And you were here, for about 45 minutes, ate a few ribs, and barely any vegetables, like usual. And then there you went, back out.

But before you left, over dinner, I asked what it was like to be home.

“Weird,” you said.

“Are you excited to go back?”

“Not really,” you said.

Clearly, you were having too much fun in your weekend off with friends. In reality, I know you love college, and once all your friends head back to school, you’ll all get back into it. The first trip home is always hard. It feels so familiar, so much like home.

But you’ll get back into your new routine, just like I will.

I will, won’t I?

Just so you know, I primed you two 12-packs of Annie’s Mac N Cheese Microwaveable Cheese Cups. They aren’t the same as Menga’s rigatoni and sharp cheddar that you love, but they’ll do. They’ll be there Wednesday.

And I’ll make you some pumpkin muffins too, for all those 8:00 mornings when you don’t have time to eat before class. I also have a secret bag of Resee’s Football eggs to send with you (which only has a handful missing).

And, my new discovery, a bottle of Downy Wrinkle Erase.  

What else can I give you?

You already have my heart.