if you will, a tranquil late-autumn evening. It's the first day
of your Thanksgiving holiday, and you are reclining in your easy
chair, enjoying the warmth and gently dancing flames of your fireplace
insertwith semi-realistic gas logsand sipping a cup
of warm tea from your new Keurig machine that Bed Bath & Beyond
put on sale for 50% off immediately after your purchase.
Suddenly, the serenity of the evening is shattered by the slamming
of the garage door, the harsh jangle of keys against the kitchen
counter and the raucous rumble of wheels from an unnecessarily large
and expensive suitcase across the kitchen tile, followed by shouts
of "I'm home! Where's Mom!?"
Our family is now experiencing the chaotically sweet phenomenon
of our two older daughters coming home from college to enjoy their
holidays with family and reconnect with hometown retail centers.
When our daughters left for college this year, we conducted a deep
cleaning and reorganization of their bedrooms so that they could
come home to fresh and relaxing spaces when they visit. Exactly
24 hours after their arrival for Thanksgiving break, their bedrooms
resembled disaster relief donation centerswith open suitcases
strategically positioned to rupture my ACL when I came in to kiss
After informing us of her urgent need for a cell phone upgrade,
our eldest and most expensive daughter spent the first evening of
her break hanging out with her high school friendswho were
also home from college sharing memories and soiled laundry with
And speaking of laundry, I had almost forgotten what it's like to
spend what seems like hours loitering in our laundry room and battling
against the laws of physics to reinsert numerous floppy bra pad
thingies back into holes that seem entirely too small for floppy
bra pad thingiespraying that I match the correct bras and
floppy bra pad thingies, and don't get them upside down or backwardwhich
might cause chafing or some other unthinkable malady.
Our middle daughter spent her first full day at home lounging in
her queen-sized bed, relishing the fact that she didn't have to
break out her rappelling equipment to take a nap in her twin-sized
dorm loft. Once re-energized, she quickly headed out for reunions
with some of her favorite peoplenamely the employees of the
local Target and Starbucks.
Our youngest daughter was enjoying her break from high school by
intermittently raiding the pantry for snacks (approximately once
every 20 minutes) to allow her overheated retinas time to recover
from marathon YouTube sessions. She seemed fairly oblivious to the
homecoming of her sisters, casually asking me when they would arriveafter
they had already been with us for about 8 hours.
The highlights of the girls' visits have been the home-cooked meals
we prepare at their requestgiving them a break from the near-starvation
rations they are allotted in college cafeterias where they are forced
to survive on an all-you-can-eat array of buffet style salad bars,
dessert stations, international cuisine and retail dining franchises.
Apparently, though, the mashed potatoes at college just taste weird.
Although I miss having little girls, it's great having them all
at home togethereven all grown up. My only complaints are
that their visits are never long enoughand the floppy bra