Only 119 days until summer break begins

I’m sure for many others, that holiday feeling faded away almost two weeks ago, once the holiday celebrations had all become a thing of the past. I too have returned to the routine of everyday life, but for me, the “ordinary” doldrums were kept at bay while my baby has been home from college.

I always say that I’m not sure what I might have done to be blessed with such good kids. Believe me, I certainly didn’t earn these blessings with my own behavior in my younger days. My three have very distinct and different personalities, for sure, but between them, there is diligence, confidence, good humor and compassion. There have definitely been highs and lows as we’ve watched them grow, but I am so proud of the people my children have become.

Now that they are grown and working toward lives of their own, the house is so much quieter than it ever was. Yes, they are each still in transition to their adult lives, but the two boys are well on their way to independence, only leaning on us here and there at times such as when facing a particular situation for the very first time. (Brad called last week for help understanding his employee benefit offerings.) Kacey’s ties to home are still a bit more secure, but as a college sophomore, I know those ties loosen a bit more with each passing day. It’s no secret that some of the highlights of my days are those times when the kids come home to stay for any length of time.

For the past four weeks that Kacey has been home from school, it’s often her voice or face that greets me when I come home from work. She’s so full of enthusiasm and energy for life, she’s just a joy to be around. She has such a knack for finding the silver lining in every situation and has an easy ability to laugh at herself and help me not to take myself so seriously. (Really, sometimes I wonder who’s the adult and who’s the child here!)

The dogs are always happy when their favorite cuddler is home too.

The dogs are always happy when their favorite cuddler is home too.

I remember my own years at Kacey’s age. My mom and I did whatever possible to steer clear of one another. She (wisely) knew there was no winning with me and I was too cool and too perpetually annoyed with my life to reach below the surface with her. I’m happy to say that, eventually I did some growing up and Mom and I have made up for lost time, but now I’m sorry I couldn’t give her what Kacey has given me.

Spending time with my daughter is one of my favorite things. Just yesterday, as we were greeting the day in that weekend way, slow and lazy, she said, “You should make us some omelets with peppers in ‘em.” It was long ago decided that I am the best omelet maker in the house and breakfast being one of my favorite meals, I easily agreed to Kacey’s suggestion. As it turns out, there were no peppers in the refrigerator, but we did find some ham and cheese and some breakfast potatoes.

“I think I’ll put some chopped onion in mine,” I mentioned.

“If you saute’ them first, I’ll have some too,” she said.

Simple, little things I learn from her sometimes. I’d never in the past sautéed my onions before putting them in my omelets. Turns out I really liked them!

Together, we made a mess of the kitchen, the end result being steaming, cheesy, overstuffed omelets that were almost too big for either of us to finish. We should have split one! But sitting together at the table, enjoying our over-sized breakfasts, talking, laughing at how the dogs never give up begging for a bite of “people” food they’re not going to get… it’s the kind of precious moment I look forward to more as opportunities grow fewer.

I’ve loved having Kacey home the past four weeks, and not only because she’s the one family member who might notice the dishwasher needs emptying and just take it upon herself to just do it without being asked. She’s my ray of sunshine, always anxious to share her stories with me, making me laugh, or wanting me to watch a chick flick with her. I feel honored that at her age, she carves time out of her busy life for me. My world can feel a bit empty at times. She reminds me that I’m wrong. My life is overflowing.

My holidays come to an end today. Second semester is starting tomorrow and it’s time for Kacey to go back to school. But I get to ease back into the old and sometimes boring routine. Her college isn’t all that far away. She can come home often, and I’m happy that she does. Next weekend is the home opener for the Minnesota Wild and Kacey and Connor are big fans. Now that the NHL season is finally starting this year, they plan to be at that first game. They’ll be back home in just a few short days! Think I’ll stock up on some fresh red and yellow peppers before next weekend rolls around.

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19 thoughts on “Only 119 days until summer break begins

  1. I’ve never felt left out or disappointed for not having a daughter. But I admit that every time you write about Kacey and your relationship, I’m left fantasizing.

  2. I had goosebumps while reading this. (And not just because it’s 18 degrees and icy here.) I love hearing about your relationship with Kacey. My mom and I always got along, but we were never real close. My daughter and I get along, and although we’re not as close as you and Kacey, I try to make girl time with her. My favorite is when we go shopping, ’cause she opens up so much while we’re in the car.
    You are very lucky, for sure, to have such great kids, but give yourself SOME credit. From what I can see, you’re a terrific mom.
    And hooray for the return of hockey! Especially if it means seeing your daughter more! :)

    • The car is a great place for conversation, isn’t it?

      I guess I can take SOME credit. :-) I’ve always tried to remember how I felt as a kid and when my kids were going through struggles, I tried to put myself in their place and show them that I understood. I’m kind of a softie. Mark, a little more solid. Maybe we were a good balance for each other.

  3. I find it very heartwarming to hear about how the two of you can be friends, not just relatives. Too many families I’ve seen wouldn’t have anything to do with each other if they weren’t related. It shows me that you’ve done something right in the way you raised her, just like shadowrun300 has said.

  4. Yea…Hockey!!!! I love to watch anything where grown people can hit each other with heavy sticks without being personally involved in the action. This is why I moved away from home. I hope the relationship I have with my kids is the same when I’m as old as you. ;)

  5. Good stuff. Sounds like a great omelet. She’ll be back before too long. And I just picked up some Blackhawks tickets this morning!!

  6. I know you feel blessed to have that closeness with your daughter — I feel that way about my son. Now that he’s back at college, the house feels empty (and the gray skies don’t help my mood!). But it won’t be long before I find something to occupy my time until he returns for another few days! Pat yourself on the back for raising such good kids, Terri!

  7. I always felt you have a great relationship with all of your kids, especially Kacey. Those times you spend with her (and the boys) are precious/memorable. Glad to hear you and the dogs got extra time with her before she headed back to college.

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