New Website at www.TheStrangerSong.com

Growing Pains

is a favorite. Remember?.

Roughly 4.8% of the people in my life know how terribly disappointing the month of June was for me. Those same people give or take a few also knew how eager I was to flee Chicago for a week and get my summer sunburn. Always such great expectations.

After I stayed up the night before doing absolutely nothing legitimate, Leighanna and I met at the airport and flew from Chicago to Houston.

Annoying society observation: people refuse to sit next to strangers until made to do so. Why is it necessary to leave a seat in between, making it difficult for families (or sisters) to sit next to one another? C’mon.

Neither one of us paid attention to our baggage claim info. Our parents are good for that stuff and we were on their time now. Ah…and there they were laughing at how alike we looked (drowsy and unintentionally matching) Leighanna gets mom hug, Alexis gets dad hug. Switch. Jarhett arrives. More hugs. Switch. And onward to the mom-cooked food.

What do the “grown-up” kids and their empty-nesting parents do for a vacation? Water park! We stayed at the Schlitterbahn Resort and were a bit more excited about the legendary water rides than the little children running around the park. Lined and talking time ‘a plenty.A couple days, some lost sunglasses, way sketchy food and a jelly shoe funeral later, we spent the 4 hour ride home discussing politics and economics. Talking time ‘a plenty. Another day later, we rented a boat and sped around the gulf bay, stopping every now and then to get out the raft and own some waves. By the end of the day, the Texas sun owned our skins…And before we knew it, everyone was whipping out his/her own way of saying goodbye. Texas talkin’ over.

...or the waves take them.

Begin journey back to Chicago. “Leighanna, I don’t know how I feel about what just happened…”
And thank you God for a sister to have a completely necessary conversation with. We talked of creative freedoms, individual viewpoints, family ideals, purpose, biological dynamics, knowing each other, etc. and that it’s okay for those things to not be understood between parents and “kids.”
I struggled with the thought of us not agreeing as we form our own opinions, afraid of the thought of some root of dissension or judgment between everyone. What if we become one of those families that just debates over everything? Ick. And, even though my parents have always supported my pursuits (though they never fully understand why I’m going for those things), I still fear that what I aim for in life will mean less if they don’t get it and share my zeal for what I’m doing. But those aren’t fair expectations for them or for me.

I like talking through the growing up things with Leighanna.
Thanks, sister.

Texas was actually a good break from my expectations, to say the least.
I appreciated the dad hugs, the mom food, brother-sisters time, and the thought-provoking talking. These are things I was ready and eager for. But I’m even more grateful for everything I was sent away thinking about and processing. Sigh. Growing up. It’s so not what I pictured when I was wishing for adulthood at 10 years old.

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One response

  1. Alli

    I have thought the same thing so many times. I yearned for adulthood, and now I want to give it back, or at the very least make it easier and more financially affordable. I’ve been talking over this problem with my sister Becky, lately, in part because she yearns to provide that idyllic childhood for her son, and in part because she laments the loss, too. So, every Christmas, we hope for the perfect Christmas we had as kids, but we don’t get it, which I suppose is a good thing. If I really think about it, the imperfect Christmas (and unmet expectations like it) makes me long for heaven and perfect fulfillment a bit more. In the meantime, I too am thankful for a family that will walk with me through this phase called adulthood. Here’s to eternity!

    August 31, 2010 at 8:29 pm

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