Maybe he grew a beard. Maybe she got a beer gut. Or maybe you hardly recognize this stranger in your house who apparently didn’t do any laundry the last month of school. But they’re home. They’ll probably challenge your boundaries and drive you crazy, but gosh darn it they’re your kids. And when they aren’t doubting your advice and your overall awesomeness as a parent, they can be pretty cool.
But let’s not kid ourselves; our normal household routine is definitely disrupted when the kid(s) come home from college. In the grand scheme of things, these things don’t annoy me as much as they kind of fascinate me, and they boil down to three things:
I came home from a party one Saturday night around 11:30 (yes, p.m.) to find my husband playing poker with my twenty-one-year-old son and his friends. (No, there was no drinking involved since some of them were underage.) After a few minutes the game wrapped up, and everyone under age 49 decided they were going to go work out. Huh? Of course… because that’s totally reasonable. It’s not like they were getting off 3rd shift at the mill and this was part of their regular schedule; they just consciously chose to go work out around midnight on a Saturday. On one hand I’m impressed how they don’t let anything dictate their schedule; on the other hand, I’m wondering how they ever got to sleep that night. It truly boggles this lady’s mind.
It’s inevitable that strange clothing will appear in my son’s laundry after I haven’t seen him in a while. A shirt with bananas on it? Where did that come from? Does he really like it, or is he just trying to be funny and ironic? And good grief, these are the towels that he used all semester? Those rags look like I should have been doing a welfare check on him. And then there’s all the friends’ clothing that make it into our house. On any given day there will be three pairs of friends’ shoes at our doorway (or maybe even some shorts and tee shirts) that seem to rotate among four of them, depending on who needs what when and where they’re going. Forget Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants; it’s more like Brotherhood of the Traveling Shorts at my house.
Speaking of friends…even though they forget their clothing, personal identification and even their keys at my house, they never ever forget to eat at my house. My son’s friends have been known to come by for their “second supper”. (We caught on to that trick pretty quickly.) Sometimes they call around and do a comparison before deciding where they’re going to eat. (Wait – wasn’t that an episode of Leave it to Beaver?) But in any case, I’m still surprised at how quickly our food disappears. That movie theater candy I got on special at Walgreens? Gone. The expensive Bai 5 drinks I got at Costco? Drank like they were overflowing fountains of water. (Note to self: Must hide Bai 5.) The empty wrappers and containers lying around my living room? A downright paradise for Templeton the rat.
Seven more weeks until school, folks!