Winter Break Blues

My family in our Hanukkah shirts before COVID hit home.

When I was a kid, I remember my winter break flying by. Before I knew it, I was back in school, hitting the books. Now that I’m an empty nester, the kids’ winter break from college goes by even faster. It seems like yesterday that they walked through the front door with all of their dirty clothes. But that was already a few weeks ago, and now everything is cleaned up, packed up, and moved out again.

It has been so nice to stay up and talk to them in person instead of over FaceTime. And I have had the perfect excuse to clean up the clutter and make more room at the kitchen table so we can have dinner for four. Our dog, Chloe, loves having all of her people home to play with while the grown-ups are working. And I love having four drivers in the house—all able and willing to make a Trader Joe’s or CVS run at any hour of the day.

I know that coming home for them is a chance to rest after a long semester of labs, papers, and tests. But I found this hilarious video on Instagram the other day that is probably an accurate look at what life is like with me when they come home. (Enjoy! And, sorry kids!)

Other empty nesters have told me that it’s even harder when they come home and leave again. They are right, but I know in my heart this is the way it’s supposed to be. And I’m probably a little sadder because we’ve all been under the weather for the last ten days. I had big plans to go out for dinner at some of our favorite restaurants and spend an evening at Longwood Gardens to see the holiday lights. All of that had to be canceled. Our family time soon turned back to FaceTime because everyone had to hide out in their bedrooms.

Oh look, Andrew did leave something behind for me to remember him by—10 bath towels to throw into the washer. That kid uses so many towels!
At least he cleaned up his room before he left!  Thanks, sweetie. See you soon!

5 comments on Winter Break Blues

  1. Laura O
    January 10, 2023 at 12:12 am (1 year ago)

    We had a Chloe the dog, too. This is a sweet post. I’m sure your adult kids will thank you for the memories!

  2. Doug
    January 8, 2023 at 1:43 am (1 year ago)

    Maybe you could start with a photo book.

  3. Doug
    January 8, 2023 at 1:33 am (1 year ago)

    Not much different when they have children of their own and spend Christmas week at Grandma’s.

  4. Florence Callender
    January 7, 2023 at 10:00 pm (1 year ago)

    I remember when I became an empty nester and looked forward to the holidays, too. Before you know it, you’ll be attending their graduation. This period will prepare you for the after-college phase. You’ll soon get used to and relish your newfound freedom. 😊

  5. Paul B. Taubman, II
    January 7, 2023 at 9:55 pm (1 year ago)

    I completely understand the feeling of the winter break flying by. It’s always so nice to have the kids/family home, but it’s bittersweet when it’s time for them to head back to school. I love the idea of making more room at the kitchen table for dinner and having extra drivers in the house – those are definitely some perks of having the kids home. And I can definitely relate to the struggles of trying to make plans and have family time, but then being sidetracked by illness. It’s all a part of the joys and challenges of parenting! But it’s important to remember that this is just a temporary phase and to cherish our time together. Thanks for sharing your experience and the hilarious video – it definitely made me laugh!