11/27/2013 12:36 pm ET Updated Jan 27, 2014

Testosterone, Thanksgiving, and a Mother on a Mission

It's 10:45 in the evening and I'm in house cleaning mode. My husband is in bed with our canine, the turtle's eyes are closed, the budgie's cover is in place, but the cat's keeping me busy by continually shredding up his carpeted boudoir. I've vacuumed the floor beside this monstrosity four times in the last two days. She has no respect -- it's my week off for crying out loud and I'm cleaning up cat clutter!

My youngest son is getting a ride home tonight from college and I've been dusting up a storm. Okay, so I saw him a few weeks ago for a couple of hours, but this is different, both of my darling boys are coming home. I really want the house to be clean and tidy (who am I kidding?) We'll be a happy family again, stress free and agreeable. Or will we?

Memories of arguments ranging the broad spectrum of family life echo in my head, from the ever popular, "I was about to sit in that chair," followed by rolling eyes, to the highly intelligent, "Why would you say that?" and the ever popular disputes on what movie we're going to watch... together, as a loving family. Recollections like these bombard my brain and I wonder if it's too late for me to book a flight out of here -- solo.

But I can handle this weekend. I'm an adult, for goodness sake, a 50-something mother and wife. I teach high school kids, so surely I can make it through a few days of family tension with the sons and hubby I love so dearly. Can't I? Please, cat, nod your head or something, I mean -- give me some support here.

However, I have a wee trick up my sleeve -- testosterone is not going to infiltrate this Thanksgiving holiday. I've found that our family grooves best when others are around, buffers, so to speak. With this in mind I'm having a few friends over to take the pressure off our family unit. Don't get me wrong, we love each other dearly, miss each other like crazy (well, I miss them), and come together like magnets when we need each other. However, we're four independent adults with strong views and opinions, we all love a good discussion, and some have louder voices than the rest of us.

The washing machine has finished for about the tenth time today, our home smells cat litter free, the beds have clean sheets, and fresh towels are laid out. There's just one thing I've not done and it could be detrimental -- the supermarket shopping. To go now (midnight) could be epic and definitely give me something to write about, but then I'd miss the arrival of my freshman. So tomorrow morning it will be. I can only imagine what craziness awaits me. Death by shopping cart...

What's that you say, cat? Yes, I know I need to flip the laundry, thanks for the subtle reminder. Would you like me to hand feed you sardines from a crystal bowl? Dream on cat, I'm a mother on a mission, and did I mention that my babies are coming home?