If you are a parent of a child heading to college, you have experienced this. It doesn't matter how close you have been to your child, it happens! I have developed this theory over the course of raising mine. Senioritis, the final year of high school is interesting. Some kids make the most of it, they see the finish line and enjoy the heck out of their senior year. Others, become more sullen and distant. They become more argumentative and hide out in their rooms. My theory is that sometimes the kids who are unhappy at home are excited at the prospect of leaving, and enjoy the last year of high school because of it. Sometimes the kids who are close to their families can't handle the thought of missing them when they leave. Those kids do their best to hate home before they go to make them miss it less. The really smart kids, enjoy every minute that they have at home and don't waste any of it, because that is worse than being homesick.
It is a little different for the kids who are heading back for another year. They have been gone for eight or nine months and suddenly come back into your home to visit/live for the summer. They are used to coming and going as they please without having to give the simple courtesy of letting you know where they are. They have spent a significant amount of time, taking care of only themselves and enjoying the selfishness of that.
Becoming part of a family again for the summer is a challenge. If you are smart as a parent, you understand that they have grown and become more independent and you respect that. You allow them their freedom and simply ask them to give you a point in time when you should start checking ditches or calling the police because they aren't home yet. We won't get into helping them acclimate to home today. Maybe we can review that at semester break or next spring. Right now, it doesn't matter because they are heading out soon.
Every parent of a returning college student is now hearing: "It's time to get out of here and go back to school." or simply "I can't wait to go back to school!"
NEWS FLASH! - It hasn't been a piece of cake for us either! You have waltzed into our home like Mark Antony returning to Rome with Cleopatra, gracing us with your presence. You have left dishes in the sink, which is a huge step up from the family room and your bedroom! The bathrooms are a mess! The house is a mess! My bills for food, electricity and internet have grown exponentially! When you are asked to do a simple chore or errand, you act like I have requested your right arm and possibly a leg! Over the course of the past year, we have become an embarrassment and it is shocking that we have been able to survive without you!
Over the course of all these children, I have learned to let you puff up your chests and brag about leaving. One day, some of you will get it, some of you may not. That is part of life, and I have no control over that. Parents, know that it will sting for a while. Kids, know that know matter how much it stings your parents, they still love you and will welcome you back next spring.
Being a parent never gets easier, it just gets different.
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!