My daughter Mindy is home for a few days as her college is taking a four-day weekend. She goes to school 2500 miles away so we decided to bring her home for her birthday. She’s been away for nine weeks and will be back again in six more, so the timing is perfect.

I don’t remember being as excited to pick someone up at an airport as I was on Wednesday night. My wife, Barb and I were literally giddy. If you’ve never experienced having your children go away to college, it’s hard to explain. For as many challenges that the teenage years bring to parents, you never grow tired of spending time with your kids, especially when they’ve been gone for awhile. We’ve had a great couple days and I’m already dreading taking her back tomorrow.

This is a great lesson for me, and maybe for you, too. Time as a family can have many challengers. Boyfriends (and girlfriends for those of you with sons), school, and friends can sneak in and rob some of that precious time. As your kids grow older and move away, take time to relax and really enjoy the moment. I realize that pretty soon, Barb and I will be official “empty nesters”. In my early 40’s that seems strange.

One last note for you young adults without kids. Remember to call every once in awhile. Cell phones have made that much easier than when I was younger. We are fortunate that Mindy calls us a lot just to talk and give us updates. I can’t imagine if she didn’t. Always keep those lines of communication flowing…you never know how much time you actually get. Relax and have fun with your family. It’s the only one you have!

Dan

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