Today marks the official beginning of my winter break. Absent a paper I’m free. At least for a few weeks. Which brings me back “home”. It’s interesting how quickly I’ve become accustomed to my apartment, my home away from home. But now being back presents its own challenges. Perhaps it is the holiday season, or maybe everyone goes through this. But my childhood home drives me crazy.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s nice to see family and friends, to have folks to share meals with, to reconnect with pets and to have free laundry. #Mooch. But there is something about being home that just grinds my gears. I think I’m so used to doing things my way for a majority of the year that the idiosyncrasies present in my childhood home just seem so foreign. My mother, for example, refuses to leave dishes in the sink overnight and is reluctant to use the dishwasher. While I myself am something of a neat freak, I don’t apply this rule to my own home. Granted, it would take a few days for me to amass the amount of dirty dishes our family can create in one day, but I don’t understand the prejudice against the dishwasher. A good friend mentioned her mother is vehemently opposed to using it as well. What gives? I understand this sounds like the unwarranted grievances of a spoiled child. But I think this annoyance is felt by most young adults and speaks to a greater issue involving parents and children.
I think what most bothers me about returning home is that I feel I’ve entered a time warp. Once home, I’m magically transformed back to an adolescent, at least in my parents’ eyes. Sitting still for too long might prompt a request to do chores. Let me repeat, chores. As in, things adults do to maintain the general upkeep of their home. And beyond. Is anyone really going to think we’re slobs because I refuse to dust the back of a picture frame? Highly doubtful.
I understand that my return might create a sense of normalcy or continuity in the home. What I don’t understand is how that translates into a jump back into the past. I also understand that for a majority of my life my parents have been charged with my protection and welfare. But I am eager for there to be a mutual understanding between us. I am their child, but I am not a child. While home, it would be amazing to enjoy the holidays without the added tension of learning how to live with one another as adults. I think the key is mutual acceptance. While here, I’ll enjoy my parents being parents in hopes they can see the benefits of having raised an adult.
If all else fails, we have wine. Lots and lots of wine.