Saturday, May 31, 2008

meet the parents

i'm sitting in my parent's hotel room on my mom's computer after just having eaten a delicious lunch at devil's food.  they're napping to catch up from a long morning of travel.  tonight we'll eat at my restaurant, i welcome the chance to be waited on hand and foot.  
i gave them the brief tour of the van and parking spot, and i think they could appreciate the efforts i've made.  it's not a glamourous life, but it works!  it feels so good to be around them, so familiar, yet special because of it's rarity.  i know that there's some balance i need to find between seeing my family and being out adventuring.  right now i feel the pull to spend more time with them, i miss my brothers really bad too.  so, i'm going to feed my need for those connections more often than i have been in recent years.  then, once we're good and tired of each other, i'll go off again:)
i often wonder if they'll ever leave pennsylvania, i doubt it.  their roots are deep, but i'd love the chance to spend some time with them elsewhere.  they are so mired in work and the dynasty they've built in that little town, i sometimes feel hopeless about it ever happening, but they are here now and that's a step.  and maybe someday i'll change my mind about where i grew up and move back, but the thought still depresses me.  
i will attempt to impress them with my mobile lifestyle and perhaps they'll sell a house and buy an RV like so many other 60 somethings.  it could happen i guess.


I'm Chris Harne said...

I'm drawing a lot of parallels here. I'm from Pennsylvania, and that's where I'm sitting right now. On a laptop at my parents house. It's familiar here, but adventuring seems like it's probably better. I felt a pull to be home - now I'm here, and it's got its own set of feelings. Basically, I'm ready to leave again.

Funny thing introducing your parents to your van and parking spot. My folks came down to Key West to visit me (for a few hours) and I had the distinct surreal pleasure of showing them where I'd been living for the past several months. I made sure to be in one of my top parking spots. My van was parked with the side doors kissing a big beautiful tropical vine-covered tree on a little side street very close to the happenings downtown. Awesome spot, clearly stealth and safe. Shaded by magical tropical trees! It's weird showing parents with normal high standards the ruckus of a life you've chosen for yourself.

Did they accept it nonchalantly? Did they comment? When I showed my folks my set up (NOT decked out or impressive, aside from the scenery. Spartan to the core) they seemed to take it in stride. We didn't stick around at my van, and they didn't comment much. It felt like "well... okaaaaaaaay... moving on..." Later - by some days - my mom made a meek comment on the phone that showed a low level of approval. It's weird territory.

To type too much for typical comment length, I will further say that I've been parking in their driveway about half of my nights. Though the driveway is VERY nice - [next to woods, and last night a fox walked past two feet from my chair, past my open doors. a FOX!] - it doesn't feel like mine, and part of me needs more autonomy. It bursts the bubble of adventure. And I've been back here in PA long enough to come to terms with that. It doesn't bother me now, but I'm aware of my feelings and excited to see something new. Further honestly: a little apprehensive too.

You're cool.


Lucas said...

Happy Birthday! I'll try to keep you informed on what's cool and what isn't now that you are over the hill. Also, I wish I could hang out with the family this weekend.


stranger in a strange van said...

thanks guys! i'm having such a good birthday, couldn't ask for much more, but having my brothers here would be icing on the cake.