Thanksgiving Visitor

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and so has our son. We longed for his return and to be able to see his face in real life instead of the Skyped version.  We dropped him off at college four months ago, and he came home from college to visit us over the holiday break.  That's right. He came to visit us! And if this isn't awkward-sounding enough, try spending the first day with your newly-independent child's first time back home after the big move to college!

thanksgiving plate

Don't misunderstand me.  Having my nest full again was pure bliss; sleeping soundly knowing all my chicks were in their rightful rooms is as peaceful a sensation as I had ever felt. The comfort of knowing my children are safely snoozing in their warm beds — the ones I made with care and dotingly put soft, clean sheets and warm blankets on for their comfort — is as good as it gets for parents.

Waking up to find out the Thanksgiving Visitor had been out 'till 2:30am was not so cozy.

That's right. On the second night of our visitor's stay, our son simply grabbed the keys to his car, walked out the front door and left to go see his buddy…in the middle of the night!

Parents, the season of Firsts is upon us : First time away from home for an extended period,  the first time visiting home as a semi-independent child, and the first time we were not sure how to deal with the 'asking for permission' vs. 'letting us know' about his plans situation.

Folks, as much as I'd like to tell you this did not matter too much to us, it kind of did…a little bit. We are all going through a lot of new things which are altering the previous order of things in our home. Late-night departures usually required a curfew or at least a phone call.  But now that our adult son is living 2,000 miles away and has no one to answer to, well, it is all a bit confounding.

“You don't have to ask for permission” we said (sort of mumbling under our breath, yes you do!).

“Just be very careful, Okay?” were the last words out of our mouths, but our thoughts remained on the dangers we related with being out so late.

One great piece of advice I came across on how to handle this exact situation was on my son's college calendar of all places. This little gem was printed on the month of November:

“Holidays Maybe Happier with Communication

Ask Questions (But Not Too Many)

Many first-year students may resent interference with their newfound lifestyle, but most desire the security of knowing that you are still interested in them. A family's curiosity may add more stress than relief, depending on the attitude of the person involved. “I-have-a-right-to-know” statements, questions with ulterior motives, and nagging should be avoided. Honest inquiries, however, and “between friends”  conversations will do much to  further the family and first-year student relationships.

Discuss the Family Rules

When the semester ends and your student returns home for vacation, plan to sit down and discuss the rules of living at home. The family needs to respect the individuality the student has worked so hard to achieve, and the student needs to know that there are rules and courtesies to be observed.”

Thankfully, we do have a very considerate son, and frankly, we understand that this period of adjustment goes both ways. Guess we're all going through those 'Firsts'!

So parents, how do you balance this transition in your homes? Do you have an anecdote to share with new empty-nesters about your Thanksgiving Visitor?


  1. Anonymous says:

    hola seniora valle,
    nomas aki de nuevo… 😀 ii puesz me dio mucha risa este blog… aunke psz entiendo a su visitante porke yo anduve en las mismas… rapidamente me dieron a saber ke las reglas siguen iguales… 😛 aunke ya me abia desacostumbrado a eso… ii ahora ke boii a estar aki en casa por todo un mes.. otra ves me boiii a acostumbrar para despues desacostumbrame.. xD
    Su querida seguidora,

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi Josselyn! Hope your college days are going well. Everything is an adjustment for all of us right now. Thanks for your sweet note, and good luck to you!! XX00

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