A Week with the Folks

Hello again, from the beautiful, humid, scenic homeland of my parents: 

That's right, West Texas friends...that's a body of water. Right there. Within eyesight. I know. 

Anyway, I'm coming to you live on Wednesday night, after getting to my parents' house on late Monday afternoon. And I have many thoughts to share. I'll stop here to say hello to my Mom, who is definitely reading this (heeeeey girl), and know that she knows where my heart is, so when I discuss my thoughts on some things in just a moment, she's going to either be like "preach" or, roll her eyes. It's a toss up at this point. 

So, in the lamest introduction of all time, I'll get to it. 

As a 28-year-old grown person, there are several interesting things that happen when you visit your parents for a week at their house. That's probably a crazy understatement, but it should be noted here that both of my parents are rockstars at being humans. It's equal parts fascinating and frustrating being a witness to how things function around here, now that I'm a bona fide adult, and not the bratty(er) version of myself they had to deal with throughout adolescence who was like, definitely sure they were doing everything wrong. 

Let's not fool ourselves, however. I love my parents. But also? Even very-mature-Jessie has a hard time. For example, my dad is retired, so I've been spending most of my time with him while my mom is at work. It's been enlightening. Having been a career military man, everything is a mission for my dad. Post office trip? "What's the ETA?" Need to exchange a necklace for mom? "Affirmative. This necklace is defective." Bless. Things have been very efficient. 

Also, dad's an early to bed, early to rise kind of guy. So, on Monday night when I desperately needed to FaceTime my friends whilst we all watched The Bachelorette, I was sure that by 7pm, it'd be lights out. Ha. Adorable. No such luck. Turns out, American Ninja Warrior is my dad's jam. And I realized that requesting that he sit through 2 full hours of Bachelorette ridiculousness was too much for any sane person; we watched ANW instead. It was riveting. 

As annoying as the little quirks can be, especially over a week's time (I mean. Loudest. Chip-eater. E v e r.) there are also all of these amazing qualities in my parents that I'm reminded of every time we visit one another.

My dad--while he might be, we'll say..eccentric? He adores my mom. Like, really just delights in being her husband. He loves hearing about her day, he either brings her lunch or takes her to lunch every day. His whole day, whatever tasks he gets done, whatever stuff he's got going on, he schedules it so that the time they get to spend together is valuable. Is he outspoken (ahem..I come by it honest?) over every trying thing my mom encounters and shares with him? Yes. Does that become annoying? Because, duh. Not everything needs a militarily-efficient solution, Dad. Yes. Most times, Mom's just looking for a "Oh, hmm.." or "Dang..I see." but he's in it with her. And I love that. 

My mom has a job at a non-profit that she is exceptionally good at, and it's refreshing and annoying to see her tireless work-ethic in action instead of just over the phone. I like to think that my own dedication to what I do comes from her. Regardless of the situation or how menial the task, my mom is a ridiculously dedicated individual. She's selfless, and hard-working, and takes a lot of crap when those of us lesser in fortitude would have tapped out long ago. And she does it all without any fanfare. I guarantee the people she works with have little to no idea how much goes into what she does, or helps other people do. It's inspiring to watch, especially when I compare my own situation sometimes. There's a lot to learn from a lady like my mom. 

My parents are really solid people. And I am really loving the time spent with them--noticing all the ways bits of both of their personalities shape my own; realizing that those similarities are some of the biggest reasons we butt heads has been pretty enlightening for me. Am I needing to resolve conflict but also am a delicate flower? Sure. That Mom/Dad combo is no joke. 

I love shopping with my mom for a conference coming up and hearing about her work and feeling like I have advice to give, like she's done for me literally more times than I can count. I'm enjoying walking the dogs with my dad in the mornings, then going and getting breakfast, talking about our (sometimes differing) theologies and politics, and being embarrassed when he announces to any group of people gathered anywhere, really (diner: check. Fort Hood registration place: done.) that he's the dad of the Teacher of the Year (I can't. He's so proud.). 

I really value this time with them. It's not easy, deciding if you get along with your parents as adults, all of you. And I'm sure it's not easy when you're figuring out if you'd be friends with the type of kid your kid's turned into, but I'd pick my parents. They're pretty great.

And I'll close with a shoutout to the coolest niece around. Today, baby girl is a year and a half old. She likes to hold my hand, even after getting into the stroller. And she's the best.