The Struggle with Re-entry

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Let me start by saying I have always prided myself with how loving and close my husband, my kids and I are.  We have always been a giant pretzel.  Talking about everything, cozying up on the couch…kissing and hugging.  My over 6’ tall boys still kiss their pop on the lips in front of all their friends.  The kids will walk hand in hand down the street.  Very affectionate.

Let me fast forward to winter break that is now upon us….my two older ones home from college, both mentioning several times how they already miss their friends and independence at school.  Each getting a little on each other’s nerves.  The youngest one, my sixteen-year-old son Matthew is off with his many buds and this irritates both Danny and Katie.  They want him to want to be with them.  They want to know that he missed them, but he is 16 and anyone I speak with that has a boy that age says the same thing.  They are quiet, often sullen and all they want to do is be off with their friends.  I don’t take it personally but they do.  Especially Katie…she was always like Matt’s other mama and she finds it heartbreaking that he doesn’t give her much notice now.  I keep telling her he will come back to us…still she mourns the loss.  Danny at 22 and a senior in college has his own angst about what he will do when he graduates so he is quick to snap too.

Yesterday we had to go through our storage to locate the snowboarding gear for our road trip.  What a nightmare…everyone had some attitude and arguing broke out.  It was stressful.  I endlessly wondered “what happened to my sweet children?” Is this who we are going to be now?  Are we going to become “the Bickersons”….I can’t take it.  Ultimately we found everything we needed and everyone apologized throughout the day.

Today seems so much better.  Everyone seems to have calmed down and are committed to being kind and considerate.  It’s almost like everyone had to blow off a little steam….re-adjust…re-enter the family.  If I can step back and observe, it might be interesting.  I will get back to you after we head out on our 14 hour car trip to Colorado.  Hopefully everyone will remember their resolve and will enjoy each other’s company.  If you see three big kids on the side of the road with all of their stuff, you’ll know it didn’t go so well…I am keeping my fingers  crossed.