This post brought to you by the common cold which has left me unable to do anything but work and sleep for the past four days.
A few weeks ago, I boarded a plane to Dallas – something I’d done dozens of times in the past. This time felt different.
I lived in the suburbs of Dallas from the ages of 12 to 18, and dropped in for extended stays until I graduated from college at 21. Since then, as I’ve taken on full-time jobs and my friends and siblings have moved on, the visits have become shorter, with more time between them. At some point, I stopped referring to these visits as going home and started saying I was going to visit my parents. All of this was natural, and the city felt less and less like home every time a new shopping center was erected or a new highway opened.
This visit, though – this one was distinctly different. For the first time, I was flying out to stay in a house I had never lived in. My parents downsized to a one-story house in the next neighborhood over back in the spring (around the same time I was frantically organizing a cross-country move myself!) I don’t have my own bedroom in this house (though I didn’t in the old house either – by the time they moved, it had long been converted to a home office!) I didn’t know where they kept the spoons for my breakfast cereal or where to find a top sheet for my sister’s bed. I certainly didn’t know the neighbor’s crazy dogs, who don’t seem to sleep.
This was also the first time I’d visited since my parents became empty-nesters! My sister-slash-best friend left for college in August and now my parents only have each other (and Ally’s Doberman-Beagle mix – yes, it’s a real thing). JUST KIDDING. They are living the dream and have booked up every weekend between now and Christmas with vacations and visits from us kids! It was wonderful to spend three days with just the two of them, something that likely hadn’t happened since I was an only child – a stint that ended when I was two-and-a-half. There were no arguments over where to go to dinner (tacos, every night), what to watch on TV (Modern Family marathon) or where to hang out one-on-one (shopping for me and Mom, breakfast-for-dinner at Cracker Barrel for me and Dad).
Truly the biggest difference between this visit and the previous ones? It was the most relaxing weekend I’ve had in a long time. I wasn’t visiting for a holiday or event, so there was no stress there. I got more sleep than I normally do. And really, although it was an unfamiliar house in a neighborhood I’d only visited once or twice for baby-sitting gigs – it felt like home.
I’ll be back soon with a full photo post from this trip! Hope you’re all having a wonderful week.