By Sophia Yakumithis

I miss my mom and dad right now and I’m not going to lie about it.

Once 9 or 10 p.m. rolled around when I was a freshman, I remember deliberately not answering the phone if my parents called. I thought that not answering would make me seem like an edge lord or something. I guess I wanted to one-up the 50-somethings who gave birth to me and I feel like such a dweeb admitting that now. 

I’m not really sure what I expected being secretive or elusive about my whereabouts would lead to. In reality, my mom and dad probably just assumed I went to bed and had no friends, which is the exact opposite thing a 17-year-old with separation anxiety wants. But I let my denial of missing home get the best of me, acting like a petulant tween and ignoring them instead of admitting that I missed them and wanted to chat about my day. 

It was such a stupid mentality that became apparent when I moved back home for the summer. I really enjoyed being back and having access to basic comforts, so I spent those months warming up to the idea that my mom and dad were once in their early adulthood and probably struggled too with their identities in terms of establishing independence. 

I accepted the fact that I am indeed a homebody, something freshman me considered a weakness. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying what you’re comfortable with and part of establishing independence is navigating the boundaries between the familiar and the unknown. For me, that was illuminated by my balancing communication with my parents. 

I also considered that being a homebody may not even be a testament to my independence, but rather a testament to the strong bond I share with “my people.” When I miss home, it’s not the physical location I want to go back to, but the people who occupy that space. Luckily, modern technology has enabled instant communication with essentially anyone I want to get ahold of. As long as they aren’t avoiding me because they want to be an edge lord.

Now, as a junior, I love when my parents call me — even if it’s a Friday night. It’s a friendly reminder that someone has my back and that I shouldn’t take for granted two people I can text or call whenever I need to vent or get a pep talk from, but also two people who respect my weekend exploration of debauchery and independence. 

Mom and dad, cheers. And we are toasting with water, of course, because I’m too tired and bored to party any more.