I've just returned from a relaxing reprieve at my folks' house. Not too much drama happens there and it was a welcome break.
You see, I'm one of those lucky people who has the family that textbooks say don't exist as often these days. I'm close with my sis and love and respect my parents (who have stayed married for 25 plus years and on). Sure Mom and Dad were protective of me growing up, but it was in the 'I care about you' sort of way not the 'I'm a jerk and uncompromising asshole' way. I had curfews, was held accountable for my report cards, and learned the responsibility that came with saving up to buy my first car (which made me love that hunk of junk -- an '85 maroon Chevy Colt that would tremble like it had Alzheimer's at every stop light, forcing me to jam my knee against the radio to stop it from loudly shaking -- all the more).
Sure there were some friends' 'cool parents' who would let us stay up as late as we wanted, cussed in front of us, and talk about the 'good ole days' when they partied like rockstars. But, I don't know, some times it came off like they were trying too hard to come off as 'cool' or 'friends.' It stopped being 'cool' after a while, and appeared more 'lame.'
These days when I go home I enjoy every minute. I see that those things I might have whined and fussed about as a hormonal and rambunctious teenager weren't always worth it. Hell, I should thank them for not letting me go to a New Kids on the Block concert (vomit), so that I can say the first concert I went to was the Smashing Pumpkins.
Isn't it funny that the more of an 'adult' you become, the more comfortable you become owning up to past 'mistakes' or 'secrets' that you would have never fessed up to as a kid?
Yesterday, Mom and I took a walk around their neighborhood, and I can't remember how we got on the subject, but I found myself casually asking her, 'Well did you ever try smoking up?'
'A couple times in college,' she said with a laugh.
'Ha, yeah me too. Not for me though. I was such an idiot the first time I ever tried it. I was being a drunk show-off and I took this enormous bong hit. You shoulda seen me. Five minutes later Katie and I are sitting next to a toilet eating a box of Triscuits!'
And you know what Mom did?
She laughed. She didn't scold, or disapprove. She got it.
That's not to say I'm going to tell them EVERYTHING. I may be a blabbermouth, but I'm no idiot. Still, it's nice to be able to relate to your parents as an adult to another adult isn't it?
And that's why I enjoy visiting them these days. I can't even tell you how many hours Dad and I spent watching the NCAA playoffs. Normally something I could care less about became a source of nonstop conversation and ecstatic cries of victory and defeat (Take that Tyler Hansbrough! George Mason schooled ya!) as we knocked back beers and Cokes.
Which reminds me...have you ever tried Mexican Coke? No, not cocaine people...I'm talking about Coca Cola. Dad swears it tastes better than the version we get in the States (different formula or something) so any time someone in his company goes on a trip there he asks them to pick up a couple liters. And would you believe it, but it IS better? I'm more of a Pepsi person myself, but this Coke is actually a little sweeter. Like if Coke and Pepsi had a baby. Leave it to my pops. Now I'm a fan. So if anyone is heading south of the border anytime soon...
And since we were eating an early dinner at 4 before I hit the road, I cracked up when I heard Mom and my very Irish grandmother debating whether they should bump up happy hour to 3. 'Well I always say it's happy hour somewhere,' Gram said with a cackle.
They started dinner while Dad and I went out for a little fishing.
I'm finally casting like a normal person, so he's no longer afraid of getting an eye/ear/lip caught on my hook.
You should have seen the battle I waged to reel in my first catch. I'm zigging left, I'm zagging right. I'm tugging with all of my might...until we're at a stalemate. My line is taught to the point of breaking and I'm calling Dad for help...'**
**I've got one! I've got a--a---a--big hunk of lily pad!' **
**Figures. This happened twice. Sheesh.
Ah well, next time.
Now that I'm back in DC, I can't convey how refreshed I feel.
It's nice to know that whatever silly escapades lie before me, I'll always have these truly quirky/amazing people behind me. Trust me, I'm aware of how fortunate I am. **