There are things you have to get used to beyond the empty nest, like when the nest fills back up, which is great fun, but then just as quickly empties out again.
As happy as it is to have the kids repopulate the house, is as sad as it is to have them leave. There are transitions on both ends of a visit from the brood.
I look so forward to them coming home. But I also struggle with the rules, the chores, the sleeping schedules. Do I force them to help me with getting the holiday on, or let them rest because they need to catch up on their zzzzzz’s. Do I pretend they have a curfew, when I know and they know they can stay out all night at school. Do I force family fun, or let them be with their friends? I don’t know. I try and go with the flow. Feel it out. Do a combination of stuff like a Pupu platter at a Chinese restaurant.
I used to think parents knew everything. Turns out we just guess half the time. We’re teachers, but we’re also students. We learn as we go along. And we try, we try really hard to get it right.