I will admit it: I called home nearly every day this past semester. But it wasn’t because I was homesick or because I needed anything (even though I would sometimes pick my brain apart trying to come up with something I needed or a question I wanted to ask so my mom wouldn’t think I called without purpose). I just love chatting with my mom and dad.
It is understandable, then, why I was greatly anticipating my return home over Christmas Break. The mental image of my reunion with parents and siblings was a happy one: embraces, laughs, easy conversation. In fact, I pictured the entire break as one big joke-chuckle-hug-sing-play-game fest.
I suppose you could call the reality of my break thus far a disillusionment. Don’t get me wrong: there have been many laughs and hugs, and plenty of singing around the piano and playing games. But things are … different.
I arrived home last Wednesday at 3:00AM. I opened the door to my room, only to find my three brothers sprawled out in their beds asleep.
“Umm…Dad?” I began.
“Oh, we’ve made a few changes since last time you were home, Kaitlin. You’ll have to sleep on the couch tonight, and tomorrow we’ll put Taylor’s old mattress in the toy room for you to sleep on.”
“I don’t have a bed?”
Dad laughed. “Well, Kaitlin, you don’t live here anymore!”
So that first night, I accepted (quite gracefully I think) the fact that I was now a guest in my own home. It had to happen at some point. Besides, there is a positive side to being the “guest.” No chores, little responsibility … a perfect episode of relaxation in between semesters.
“Kaitlin, will you go clean up your stuff in the toy room?”
The question caught me off guard a little bit. The last time I was asked to clean up my room was last summer: the last time I lived at home. Certainly, no one had asked this of me in Rexburg. The funny thing is, my room in Rexburg is nearly spotless.
“Kaitlin, wake up! It’s nearly 9:30! Good grief, I hope you don’t sleep in this late every day in college.”
True, it is nearly 9:30, but it’s vacation. Besides, I’m a guest, right? And just so you know, I wake up at least by 7:30 Sunday-Friday when I’m at college.
“Kaitlin, maybe you should go running today.”
Maybe. But somehow, I just don’t have the motivation. In Rexburg, however, I go at least four times a week.
Indeed, the break has not exactly played out as I had imagined it would. I love my family, but I do not love the guest-but-still-a-child role they have flung upon me. Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise. The Lord is telling me it is time to grow up and move on, and I am ready to do so.