Parenting — why we cook so much over the holidays

Raising kids to be independent young adults means they don’t really need a whole lot of “stuff” for Christmas now. Most college students are pretty much outfitted before theyImage leave in the fall … so when they come home, we try to give them what they can’t get living in a dorm — home cooked food, extra hugs, a little parental concern (a.k.a. nagging to them) and a lot of laughter.

They may not exactly roll their eyes at all the attention, yet they don’t quite understand parental motivations.  We want to keep the parent-child-home connection alive.

I’m finding myself in the cooking cycle — all the favorite foods, all the time. It’s calorie overload. Even they think so.

But WHY do I do it? Basically, it’s about all I CAN do.  Subconsciously parents want to send thier kids back to their new lives fortified with all the little things that mean home. The kids tolerate it. They likely don’t — and won’t — realize any of this until they have thier own families.

The college/home compendium is a time warp phase of life for college students. They’re independent young adults and our children at the same time. Two realities — neither totally comfortable.  I know I used to have mixed feeling going back to school — a little sadness, a little relief for getting out from under the microscope, and great anticipation for my new “real” life.

Yet life has unexpected challenges. Between the ages of 20 and 25 I lost nearly every adult who knew me as a young child.  I wish I’d appreciated the attention a little more at the time. So fussing, cooking and giving extra hugs are the gifts I give. Merry Christmas!

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