Tomorrow my son is coming home for the weekend. He’s a sophomore at a university about a two-hour drive from here, and we haven’t seen him since we helped him move in about a month ago. He’ll be home only a couple days, but it will be good to see him.

I hardly came home at all when I was in school. I couldn’t; I was just too far away. It wasn’t planned that way. The day after my sister and I graduated high school, my family moved across the country from the East Coast to Utah. We went, too, but we had both been accepted at universities here in Virginia, so two months later, we came back East. Then, while we were still at college, our parents moved farther, to California. Weekend visits home were just not an option, whether to Utah or to California. She and I were about three hours apart by bus, and we did visit each other on occasion. But for most of four years that I was an undergraduate, I came home only once a year, for winter break. I even remained at school over the summer.

So I have no background in the optimal intervals for students to visit home when at school. The pandemic made last year too atypical to provide much of a guide. Only a few days into the 2020-21 school year, campus shut down and students were sent home for a month to take their classes online. They were back on campus for October and part of November, but then were told not to return to campus until after winter break. Even when they were at school, most classes were online, and a lot of new restrictions were in place to slow the spread of the virus. Of course, it was stressful for the students, so we let him come home as often as he wanted, or we went to see him there.

When we left him there this year, he told me he’d want to come home in two or three weeks. I figured he was just nervous and wouldn’t really feel the need so soon, and he didn’t. A month seems reasonable. It seems logical that an introverted teenager who’s an only child might want a chance to get away from the craziness of campus life now and then, to recharge.

Besides, I really miss him!

Once he goes back, it won’t be for long. Fall break is about a month away, and he plans to come home for a long weekend then. In fact, I posted recently about wanting him to be able to vote early when he’s here. Early voting is not available in person this weekend, but I’ve learned that he can take care of it when he’s home next month.

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