At 25, living with my parents again almost seemed like a death sentence. And at first, I treated it as such. I was prone to histrionics, bouts of bossing at my family who is large and chaotic and who were irritating me and unbalancing my need for complete control. Something that is close to a Mission Impossible in my house.
But over the course of the summer, the strangest thing has been unfolding. I have slowly re-acclimated to sleeping in my old room with my teenage sisters on either side, feet by my face and someone's leg strewn across my middle.
Each night when I stare at the neon glow-in-the-dark stars that I gummied to my ceiling as a child, I am awash with a comfort which is unparalleled to anything else in this world. I can hear our dog Ruby, rustling about downstairs, trying to sneak onto the couch, because we're all in bed.
I used to dread being the last to fall asleep growing up. It unsettled me in a house full of people to be immersed in such silence. Now, it is not only welcome from the boisterous day, but a reminder that I am about to drift into sleep, surrounded by all my favorite people.
I have gotten the pleasure of drawing on my siblings backs again, my sure-fire way to soothe anyone into sleep. My sisters and I have been thrifting-a passion which every single girl in our family shares. Squealing with delight when we spot an old-fashioned breakfast tray at the consignment shop down the road for only $2.00. We get it. We get each other.
There is also something sacred about having a bad day and confiding in your fifteen-year-old sister, just to get it off your chest, and because you cry, she cries. No one but a sister will cry with you, over absolutely nothing or absolutely something. My sisters and I can look across the room after a commercial, both misty-eyed and know that it struck the exact same chord within both of us.
My seventeen-year-old sister, the lanky thing that she is, jumping on my back and out of the blue telling me she loves me.
Talking photography with my mom all day long.
Having my dad plop an article about an accomplished writer in my lap and beam that I should read it, it could be me next.
My brother calling me from Arizona every few days to tell me he's having fun and he can't wait to show me pictures.
My teenage brother looking over at me to roll his eyes at the reality TV shows my sisters are glued to. I roll mine back.
It is almost borderline detrimental to me how much I enjoy spending time with my family now that I am over my initial resistance of relinquishing some of my independence. Sure they still drive me slightly to the brink, when my ten-year-old brother is teasing my little sisters and my mom is telling them to knock it off and the teens are complaining they're bored and my other sister saunters in with 12 pairs of gorgeous new shoes and I want to deck her for not knowing what bills are yet and running out of the adult toothpaste and having to use the kids all-natural strawberry flavor that literally tastes like brushing your teeth with warm fruit yogurt, even then, I can't help but think, you crazy fools, all of you, I love you!
At least right now I am full of love. I am sure in an hour when I have ordered the kiddies to clean up their lunch mess and they yell at me that I'm not the mom, I will wax a different kind of poetic. But right now, nah, they're just... actually there is quite a bit of lunch mess that I didn't make.
Excuse me while I go be bossy.