My children have been home for Christmas week. Now that they are adults and are not living close to me I only see them once or twice a year and at the most stressful times, generally Christmas or Thanksgiving - when there are just far too many expectations of what it "should" be like. I've always said that the best thing about living close to my father is that I don't have to visit him for more than a couple of hours at a time. I visit frequently but in short bursts. I think that would be best with my own children, too. We had a fabulous visit during our "Kidsgiving" where we were only in town for 36 hours for our visit with them.
Being back in the childhood rooms seems to have some power to make them children again. Redecorating the rooms didn't remove the aura of old grudges, fights, hurts, and disappointments. They try to push past it all but boredom, exhaustion, and drink all get in the way of maintaining that hard-fought-for control of hurt feelings. Then someone lashes out at someone or makes a hurtful comment or just takes offensive at something completely unintended and innocent and the room either goes quiet or erupts. Hard to tell which way it will go. I've tried to make an effort to just not react or come to anyone's defense this year which makes me just sit staring into space much of the time. They must think that I'm drugged.
I love them both so very much but I do wish that I could have their visits in more frequent, smaller doses. And I bet they do, too.