Dear Kid,

I officially declare the Thanksgiving Games open. You can tell I’m serious because I cleaned off the entire kitchen island so I can work—only to discover I don’t have all the ingredients I need so guess where I’m going after the gym?

I’ve been thinking about the difficulty of coming home after having been on one’s own for a few months. It’s ridiculously easy in some ways. This is home. You know where your room is, you don’t have any problem helping yourself to something from the refrigerator, you know where you fit.

But in some ways it’s an odd adjustment. After months of no one asking when you’ll be home or where you’re going, you parents insist on knowing your plans. After not having had to participate in chores unless you chose to there is now a schedule and a pattern you’re expected to adhere to. After months of being a “college kid” being home can make you feel like you’ve taken a giant step back to high school days (without the early morning bus ride.)

Don't ask me--The challenge of coming home for the holidays

A friend of mine shared this shirt with me. After I had a good giggle, I realized it reflects this push-me-pull-you (extra points if you get the reference) feeling. You want to be home and comfortable and surrounded by people and puppies who love you, but you’re not sure you’re ready to give up the freedom and self-reliance that comes with being part of the pack on a daily basis.

Coming home means being immersed again in all the love and comfort of home—and all the rules of home.

That’s a good thing (just in case you weren’t sure).

Can’t wait to see you in a few days!

Love, Mom

The Push-Me-Pull-You is from Doctor Doolittle