Dear Mom and Dad, I love you.
Three powerful words that mean a heck of a lot to my parents.
I was recently home for Thanksgiving. I went home on the Friday before Thanksgiving—four days earlier than normal so that I could do some recruiting at a few high schools near my house. While I enjoyed being home, I also was somewhat bored (although that isn’t exactly the word for which I am looking). See, I have no siblings, so at the end of the day (and believe me, they are usually busy), I come home to a quiet house—my parents and grandmother are all asleep, and my dog is so old now she doesn’t even come to greet me—with no one my age. Honestly, I’ve been spoiled at the Academy in that regard. There are so many people my age there—it’s great. And having a roommate is amazing, even if I do keep him up into the wee hours of the morning with my desk lamp. You’re the best, Ryan!
Last year I realized how great it was to have “siblings” (about a thousand of them, to be exact), but it wasn’t until going home this year did I feel homesick for them. I mean, it makes sense. Last year, going home was great and exciting. I had lots of new stories to tell everyone. Plus, I just wasn’t as close to everyone here yet. A year later, it was really bad.
I told my parents (and some of the rest of my family) that I was considering not coming home for Thanksgiving next year. They were all crushed! I explained to them that coming home wasn’t as fun as it used to be. I wanted to have adventures, travel to new and exciting places, and spend more time with my friends from the Academy. But even if my family’s moaning and griping was a little over the top, I do think they had a good lesson to teach me.
The holidays are for family—my family. I mean so much to them, and they really care for me. The least I can do is visit home for the holidays. As my English professor reminded us last year, going home for the holidays is something that you don’t always get to do once you’re an officer, so we should take advantage of the opportunities while you’re at the Academy. I am fortunate to live close enough to the Academy where travelling home for a short break like Thanksgiving is feasible. I have plenty of long weekends and Spring Break to visit friends and see the world (not to mention on-order trips). So, I’ve promised to come home next year for Thanksgiving (because I want to do recruiting leave again), but will compromise by inviting (hopefully!) someone who was not planning on going home.
I love my Academy family, but I get to see them every day for nine months of the year. I’ve got to give my family some time, too. Granted holiday breaks are the few times when we cadets don’t have assignments and would actually be able to hang out without dreading having to go back to do schoolwork. I guess we’ll just have to make time to get our work done early so that we can enjoy the moments we share here at the Academy.
Wishing you a New Year of excitement and success. Don’t forget among all the craziness that is the holiday season to connect with (e.g., call, get coffee with, Skype, etc.) the ones you are close to and love. Happy Holidays to all!
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