So here’s the thing… no matter how long you are away, when you go back home to visit, all the years seem to disappear away and somehow you end up becoming 15 years old again.
Perhaps it is seeing me sleeping back in my old room, or maybe it is the simple fact of having baby birds back in the empty nest… but something happens when I walk back into my childhood home. My parents seem to get amnesia and forget that I am a grown woman with my own children.
Now it’s not all bad. How nice it is to have someone else doing my laundry and seeing if I need a fresh towel or a little something to eat. But along with the turning down the sheets service comes the mommy smothering too. “Sharon shouldn’t you wear a sweater?” mom will ask as I head out the door and into the 80 degree smoldering heat. “When will you be home?” I am asked as if I am going to Homecoming instead of the grocery store with my husband. “You are not going to drive in the rain are you?” she gasps and shakes her head as I tell her that is why they invented windshield wipers!
Or she will follow me around the house turning lights off behind me, closing windows, shutting doors and commenting on the food I put into HER refrigerator. ” Why did you buy new apple juice? I had some from the last time you were here.” Keep in mind it has been over a year since our last visit!
Then there is the fight over the thermostat. If I wanted to sleep in a sauna I would have booked a stay at the spa. So I have to wait until she goes off to sleep and then sneak out like a ninja to turn the temp down. In the AM I awake early to put it back up… for if I am caught there will be hell to pay.
But just when I think, “Oh My God, I can’t take this any more!” I will come out and find my daughter snuggled up on the couch beside her grandmother the two of them laughing as she shows her pictures of me when I was her age. Stacks of albums lay next to them just waiting to be looked through and have their stories and tales passed down to the younger generation. My heart melts looking at them both. This is what I long for, these moments, these memories. It makes sleeping in the Mojave Desert ALMOST worthwhile!