Reflecting on the time off, one friend noted how she was able to sleep 11-12 hours each night she was home with her family. "It was nice," she sighed. "I finally didn't have to worry since someone else was worrying about me."
It is nice. Not worry about locking the door at night, because Dad does that. Not having to turn off all the lights because Mom and Dad do that. Not having to stew over what you'll make for dinner because Mom already has the menu outlined for the week. Not having to plan or schedule what you'll be doing each day because Grandma, Aunt Linnea and the Weavers have already set up dinners, gatherings and parties respectively.
Each year as we get older, we are endowed with a bit more responsibility. First we are charged with remembering our lunch money and library books, then what time soccer practice is, or budgeting our allowance to fill our gas tank. In college, the lucky lot that are spared from managing student loans still gain the burdens of class schedules, applying for internships, recitations, studying and making sure the rent gets in on time. And though I can remember experiencing a slight sensation of stress at each stage of light when contemplating the next jump in responsibility (for example, my jaw dropped in kindergarten when I learned that in first grade I'd be liable for late fees on library books), though once I was steeped into that next stage, I found myself comfortable in the new role. There's a warmth in the feeling of independence and the capability of doing everything on your own.
Even though I found myself sauntering about my home town carefree, and leisurely drifting in and out of impromptu naps when food comas attacked, returning to the semblance of a normal routine feels good. And even though my days are cluttered with stuffing boxes and tearful goodbyes to friends, the cacophonous screech of the alarm almost sounds comforting.