What I Miss the Most

What I Miss the Most

It's the little things about home that have the biggest piece of my heart.

Everyone told me I was going to get homesick while at college. "You'll miss your mom's home-cooked meals and having your laundry done for you," they said. However, the things I miss about home are much more than just a big bed and being with my family: there are specific things that I miss more than anything.

1. My mom's back scratches

Yeah, my mom is the queen of back scratches. And no matter how much of an attention-snob I can be, she never says no. This might sound cliché, but my mom's back scratches are her subtle way of showing me how much she genuinely loves me. She puts her tired, exhausted day behind her and gives ME the attention. Instead of complaining about all she had on her to-do list, she puts me first, and being shown that kind of love is something I don't get to experience every day in college.

2. My bathtub

There's nothing better than coming home from a long day and sitting in a nice, hot bath. And while the long, rough days seem to appear more and more as my college life progresses, the availability of bathtubs has become less and less. In my opinion, this, my friends, is the greatest tragedy of today's society.

3. My family's "smell"

Did your friends growing up ever tell you that your clothes had a distinctive "smell?" I never believed them... until I came to college. Walking into my house the first time I came home my freshman year, I was hit with an extremely familiar scent and immediately knew I was home. Your "smell" is comforting- so comforting that you don't even notice it. I miss feeling that comfort when I walked into a room or climbed into bed.

4. Leftovers

Few things are better than lasagna three days after it's made (and that's all I have to say about that).

5. Fighting with my sisters

My sisters challenge me to be a better person, and when they know I'm not acting the way that I should be, they call me out on it. While I always saw this as a negative, I'm starting to miss it. I miss having them put me on the spot when I'm in the wrong. I miss having them challenge me when I'm not being myself. There's nothing better than knowing that the people who love you are putting your well-being above your feelings.

6. Watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy back-to-back with my family

Nothing did I take for granted more in high school than the hour my family spent together every night watching our favorite shows. My mom is a pro when it comes to Wheel of Fortune, and if you were to watch Jeopardy with my dad, you'd think he was the reincarnate Einstein. But it's not my parents' mental capacities that I miss the most: it's the time we all spent in the presence of one another. That's home to me.

7. The sound of my dad's lawn mower coming on a Sunday afternoon

Sundays are my dad's only day off of work, yet he spends every one out in the yard. If I were him, I'd use this day to nap, watch football, and spend a whole lot of me-time. However, my dad puts our house and our family over his desires every Sunday. And no matter how many times we tell him to "come inside" or "let us hire a lawn repairman," he always refuses. I miss getting to witness the selflessness of my role model every weekend.

I miss home. I mean, don't get me wrong, I am absolutely loving where I am in college. I love my friends, I love my new home, and I love my life. However, a little piece of my heart is still at home with my parents, my dog, and my couch, and no matter how hard I try to put those all behind me, I never will be able to.

Cover Image Credit: Snoozer Pet Products

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Dear Mom, Now That I'm Older

A letter to the woman who made me the woman I am today.

Dear Mom,

Now that I'm older, I definitely appreciate you a lot more than I did as a kid. I appreciate the little things, from the random text messages to constantly tagging me on Facebook in your "funny" photos and sending me pins of stuff I like on Pinterest. Now that I'm older, I can look back and realize that everything I am is all because of you. You've made me strong but realize it's okay to cry. You've shown me how a mother gives everything to her children to give them a better life than she had, even when she's left with nothing. And, most importantly you've taught me to never give up and without this, I would not be where I am today.

Mom, now that I'm older, I realize that you're the best friend I'm ever going to have. You cheer me on when I try new things and support me in deciding to be whatever person I want to be. Thank you for never telling me I can't do something and helping me figure out ways to be the best woman I can be. Your love for me is unconditional. They say true, unconditional love can only come from God, but mom, I think you're a pretty close second.

SEE ALSO: An Open Letter To The Cool Mom

Now that I'm older, I don't get to see you as much. But not seeing you as much just makes the times I do get to see you the absolute best, and I look forward to it every time. Now that I'm older, I'm not going to live at home. But, I promise to always come back because I know the door is always open. Your house is always going to be my home, and no other place is going to be the same.

Now that I'm older, I realize how much I miss you taking care of me. I miss you making me dinner, making sure I was doing well in school, and taking me to endless appointments. I miss you waking me up for school and then waking me up again because I didn't listen the first time.

But, Mom, now that I'm older, I can see all that you've done for me. I can look back and see how big of a brat I was but you still loved me (and let me live) anyways. I can understand why you did certain things and frankly, you're one bada** of a woman.

To have you as my mom and my best friend has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. So, Mom, now that I'm older, thank you, for everything.


Your Daughter

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This Is What Being Away From Home Taught Me About My Home

... It's ok to make plans with people besides your mom.


My home, for as long as I can remember, has been my safe haven. No matter how many arguments my family and I got into, I always knew my home to be a place where I could feel safe, at peace, grounded, and most importantly, comfortable.

This is why, when I decided to embark on a journey to Israel, 6,000 miles away felt like I was traveling into space. I felt as if I couldn't move forward without my mom by my side, reminding me everything is going to be okay. The relationship that my mom and I have is a special one, and knowing that I was not in close proximity to her created much-unwanted anxiety for us both. Knowing that while she may have only been a phone call away, that she wouldn't be able to come hold me if I needed her to, was something I really struggled with.

While I was away, I had hoped that my excitement for the trip and the adventures that were to come would keep me grounded and sane. Unfortunately, as the days went on, I became more and more homesick. However, I was able to learn some really important lessons in terms of the importance of my home, and sometimes the need to escape it.

The new friendships I made showed me that sometimes it's okay to make plans with people besides your mom (only partially joking).

The new foods I tried showed me that there are so many different types of foods that my chef of a mother hasn't even heard of.

The new experiences showed me just how important it is to step out of my comfort zone, even if doing so means I have to be 6,000 miles away from the comfort of my mom's arms.

There are hundreds of thousands of things that this trip has taught me, but it especially taught me that life exists away from your home as well. While it is natural to want to stay close to the things that bring you comfort, it is also essential that you allow yourself to grow.

I couldn't be luckier to have had such an incredible experience abroad, but I also couldn't be luckier to have been able to come home to a mom that was waiting with open arms and open ears.

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