THINGS THAT STAY THE SAME
This weekend my parents came to visit. Despite how old I get, you can still find me running around stuffing crap into closets minutes before they arrive. Perhaps some things never change.
It’s funny though, as I grow older I can’t help but reflect back on the slow progression of my domestic maturity and acknowledge an increased appreciation and sentimentality for their visits.
It started back as a teenager when mom or dad would dare step foot in my own personal hellhole (that they paid for) otherwise known as my high school bedroom. The very same room I once wanted to paint black and spray paint a giant palm tree in but they said no and I got pissed. When they visited my room I would ‘invite’ them in and push aside a mountain of clothes and teen mags and dirty plates to make a small opening for one of them to squish themselves into at the end of my bed.
Then it was off to college where I lived in a beer soaked carpeted dorm (that they paid for) and drove ten hours to for four consecutive years of parents weekends. At the time my roommates and I at least had the decency to clean up for their visits. But inevitably mom or dad made a reach for a plastic beer cup from the cupboard for some water and would knock down an entire mountain of empty Vodka and Bloody Mary Mix bottles that we piled neatly in the recycling bin but didn’t bother to bring out.
Then on to my first apartment (that they half paid the deposit for) out of college where they were forced to walk up seven flights of stairs each carrying a heavy box full of high school love letters and yearbooks from home that I just HAD to have at the time. The apartment looked fairly nice and also had fresh flowers in their honor. I was even able to offer them something to drink other than water and in an actual glass (with a chip).
This last visit I cleaned for hours beforehand. I bought fresh cut flowers for more than one room. I took the recycling out. I found myself at eight in the morning using Windex to clean the smudges on my washer/dryer and even made ice. When they arrived I was able to offer them, beer, wine or seltzer with lime (in matching glasses-no chip). Despite the seltzer being a tad flat and the lime a little past it’s prime, they enjoyed themselves and I enjoyed their visit.
As we walked around my Brooklyn neighborhood (in the rain) Dad in his little yellow raincoat and Mom in her green one with the hood up, it hit me like a ton of emotional bricks. Their continued visits are never about how neat my place is or how many of my glasses match. No matter where I live or no matter what good or bad place I may be in at the time (emotionally or apartment wise), one thing remains consistent. Their unconditional love for me. Their great attempts - no matter how far I move from them - to always come find me.