There were a lot of things I appreciated about being home for the summer – the calm atmosphere, being able to hang out with my siblings whenever I wanted, and of course the delicious meals. Some things, however, I knew that my parents worked on to make sure that I enjoyed being home. Some of these things were:
1) They let me be independent about maintaining my things.
It’s common knowledge to those who know me that I am not necessarily the neatest person alive. As my mom mentioned earlier, I initially left my dorm stuff all over the living room… for days. I did appreciate that she didn’t mention it at first, and by the time she did finally tell me to do something about it, the advice was well-deserved. Throughout the summer, she didn’t once tell me to clean my room (that was Erin, who lives in there too). I appreciated the acknowledgement that I was old enough to take care of my own stuff. (Erin might disagree).
2) They didn’t put me on the chore chart.
As simple as this one was (and much to my siblings’ chagrin), I thought this one meant a lot. I wasn’t just mooching around the house all day – I had a full-time internship- so this gesture of “I know you’re working” made me feel respected. In turn, I was willing to help around the house when it looked like it would help a little bit. Not that our house is ever dirty, mom! :)
3) They showed me they were happy I was there.
The entire summer, my family made me feel loved in different ways. They told me they were happy to have me home; they took me out to lunch or dinner; they wanted to go on walks or to the mall or to go get ice cream; and they spent time with me. It was so nice to spend so much time with them after virtually 9 months away from them!
4) They also gave me space.
As much time as they spent with me, I think they were also careful that it didn’t seem like they were monopolizing my time. I never felt like I couldn’t ask to go hang out with friends – they were very permissive in letting me go out or invite people over. I also never felt like I never had time to just be alone, and they were very clear that I was able to make choices in which activities I wanted to go to.
5) They trusted me.
Rather than worrying what a year of college had done to me or my values, they trusted the responsibility I had gained. This was evident in big and small ways. They let me go visit friends at IU for a weekend, and when Phil and I wanted to go to Chain O’Lakes for the day, they waved us off with a cooler and towels. This wasn’t lost on me – I realized that they trusted me (and him) to go where we said we were going and come back when we said we would, and we lived up to their trust.
This summer took work on both ends – my end, and my mom’s end. (And of course my dad’s end too, but this is my mom’s blog.) I think it worked out wonderfully – I had a great time with family, with friends, at my internship, and now I’m back to college, full from my summer break. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for putting such effort into making my homecoming as smooth as possible.