There and Back Again – A Daughter’s Tale

While a typical day at the in-laws (on this vacation) may see Shelby slumbering sweetly in his room, brother 1 watching sports “with” dad in the TV room, brother 2 walking and/or privately fighting with new wife, teenagers sequestered in Netflix and texting, and me sitting quietly on the porch watching my MIL smoke cigarettes and drink coffee, a typical day at my parents house is anything but quiet.

Well, I take that back. The first three days were pretty quiet. The rest of the family was coming in for the 4th, so it was just Shelby and me. It didn’t make a whole lot of sense for us to drive the 6+ hours to our house for a few days just to turn around and drive the 8ish hours back, so we just connected our trip with a few days of alone time with my parents. I was working. Legitimately, remote office, commandeer father’s computer working. It was equal parts awful and awesome. I got to roll up in my PJs every day, had my dad bring me coffee and toast, took long breaks, and still got an amazing amount of stuff done.

But then, the crew started arriving and quiet time got a lot more raucous. My parents are young-ish. Their oldest child is 35. Their oldest grandchild is 6. They are active. Their children are active. Their grandchildren are active. If it wasn’t a massive effort to build the coolest race-track in history for the recently four year old boy, it was teaching the 6 year old that piano is cool, especially when played loudly. Any manner of soccer, football, and Frisbee were played in the yard and on the X-Box at all times. When the boys under 10 went to bed, the boys over 20 played the shoot em up games that were forbidden earlier in the day. Great efforts were made to coordinate dinner as a family, even in the mall parking lot where we watched the fireworks. This includes the recently-eating-solids-baby that also required spoonfuls of colored goo at each meal.

And while this may not seem relaxing to most, the amount of love, attention, and consideration that I get from being surrounded by my familiar siblings is some of the best medicine. I get to share in the joy of the nephews while not being solely responsible for their Super Awesome Fun Time. I can sip wine and commiserate with my girls about Work, and Life, and Stuff.

And then it was over. And we had our epic drive back to NC (during which, I am happy to report, the cat did not pee on anyone!) to our clogged garbage disposal, humid house, and comfortable home.


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