By Liz Yokubison, writer, author and mother of Alex, ENG‘21 I’m not sure...
Thanksgiving has passed with a flourish and all is back to normal at BU, if anything is normal during the holiday season. As a parent it is hard not to wonder what just happened. The Thanksgiving break flew by quickly and probably not as planned. I recently read a blog by the mom of a freshman who was anticipating her daughter’s return to the fold with lists of what they would do together, who they would see, and what they would eat. I hope it happened for her, but I am betting it did not—so it might be time to reflect a little.
Your BU student probably arrived home, hugged everyone, and then grabbed the car keys. Not an uncommon occurrence but certainly a little disconcerting for the parent who had waited all day for that smiling face to warm the kitchen. But time is so short and the break is so busy with family traditions and high school friends that you may not have had the opportunity to catch–up.
Instead you probably saw flashes of a new, opinionated, more grown–up son or daughter who has almost a full semester or more of college under his/her belt. Bet it made you proud. I would always marvel at the changes in my kids that I spotted during the holidays. This is why they are away at school, I would tell myself.? Be happy. But different they were.? (By the way, so were you and the rest of your family. Some of those changes may have come as quite the surprise to your student.)
And now they are back at BU to end the semester, and what a semester it has been. Not one of our easy, quiet ones, for sure. Added to all the typical experiences of a fall semester (classes, papers, tests, new expectations, roommates, new friends, activities, etc.) we had a very spirited national election, more news of terrorism, continued instability in the Middle East, a hoax on our own campus, and now the incident at Ohio State. The world outside of BU and the world on our campus have collided rather loudly in our students’ heads. Life has become very real here. Plus, we are coming to the most intense part of any semester, the last classes, projects, and final exams. The final push pressure is palpable. It is crunch time. Our students have disappeared into the three week storm that is December.
Now the good news . . . it will all be over soon. Your students will be home in no time, warming your kitchen with his/her smile. This vacation is longer. Now there is some real time for reacquainting yourself with the new, more grown up version of your son or daughter.? Yes, there may even be enough time for a list or two. You may even want to include them in the planning. Oh, but not before their last exam.? They’re busy now with getting real and may be a little hard to contact.
Happy holidays to all from the BU Parent Program.