Monday, December 23, 2013

The return

Five months after leaving town, College Girl is coming home for Christmas.
“Coming home” — moms of college kids love to hear those two words. Add the word “Christmas” and we fall onto the floor in a frenzy of motherly delight.
Of course, there were a few things to be done before we could roll out the red carpet.
First, her room needed to be cleaned out. In a small house with five people, an empty bedroom doesn’t stay that way for long.
Over the past few months, middle daughter had been found lounging on her sister’s bed, scavenging old art supplies, and smuggling the ferret into the room for “secret” ferret videos that can probably be viewed on something like
She also raided the closet for any leftover ugly sweaters that oldest daughter is so fond of.
Someone rifled through her nail polish collection and old makeup stash.
Another someone “borrowed” books from her room.
Everyone felt free to pilfer at will, yet oddly enough no one felt compelled to vacuum or dust the room. I had to put a stop to some of the invasion when I found myself repeatedly cleaning up a room no one was living in.
I take some of the blame. During November, I realized Oldest Daughter’s bedroom would make an excellent temporary gift storage and wrapping room. Shopping bags gathered on her dresser and desk. I could have turned her room into my private scrapbook den, but I didn’t want our girl to think she’d been replaced by a Martha Stewart craftland.
As her return date gets closer, I’ve turned into that kind of mom who goes around announcing to random strangers the number of days until our daughter comes home for Christmas, including the flight number (#2769) and arrival time (10:40 p.m.).
I may also issue a press release: MEDIA ALERT — HUFFMAN DAUGHTER RETURNS TO NAPA.
Note to self: contact advertising staff at Register to arrange for half-page “welcome back” ad. Correction — full page. They don’t call me the Most Embarrassing Mom Ever for nothing.
No visit home is complete without a fridge full of favorite foods, so I made a special trip to the grocery store to stock up. Our little carnivore must be living on Top Ramen and cereal because when I asked her what she wanted to eat, she asked for meat, meat and more meat.
B.C. (Before College) there were no special trips to the grocery store to buy pounds of bacon and steaks. But A.C. (After College) a mom will kill and butcher the cow herself if it means College Girl wants a hamburger for dinner.
I’ve also come up with a theme song for her visit inspired by “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” It’s called “College Girl Is Coming to Town.” I’m making a list and checking it twice. And it’s got bacon, ham and pork on it.

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