Fr. C. Hightower, S.J.
As parents you have almost made it through the Fall. The tears, worries, laughter, and joy of having sent your student off to Gonzaga, while not ended, have diminished. Now, however, there is a hiccup. Your child is returning for Thanksgiving and you are not really sure who the hell this person is any more.
Your college bound child as returned as an adult (lower case ‘a’) and has taken the liberty of using your home as a hotel. She or he might have decided (in the wisdom that all freshmen college students possess) that all beverages in the house are open for consumption; curfews no longer exist, various piercings are always a good idea, not to mention tattoos, and you are the only parent who does not pay for material desires. This is not the time to bring up laundry. The laundry discussion is better served after critical thinking or human nature classes are completed and graded.
Rest assured. This is your child, the one whom you have served as the first and most important teacher. It may seem no one is listening, but you are being heard. Notice the simple logic in the reality that your little one has returned home for Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is traditionally when we gather to give thanks for the blessings and graces we have received from the Divine. We know from our shared early history as a nation that at times, these blessings and graces are hidden only to be realized later. Gathering as friends and family allows us to make this recognition in the here and now, even if we are not sure about the person sitting across from us at the Thanksgiving table.
Have a blessed and grace filled Thanksgiving holiday.