Welcome to the childhood I never actually had.
Come on in, really. We’re all here. In Connecticut. In the house I grew up in. We’re eating barbecued ribs and freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies. We’re throwing around a tennis ball in the park across the street at midday. Dave’s playing tennis with my parents at the courts by the middle school. Dad’s nearly done with the Monday crossword puzzle. The rest of us are enjoying a cheery evening game of scrabble.
All with a golden retriever puppy in tow.
Seriously, have you ever seen anything so…American?
This might be par for the course at your exceedingly normal family home, but it’s a little bizarre from where I’m sitting. I think I’ve mentioned this a few times before, but I didn’t exactly have your textbook childhood. My family, god love them, is a little on the weird side. Little Jacob harbored weird obsessions with cows and sharks and “plugging” inanimate objects into power outlets. He also had a stutter so bad my mom was pretty sure he was going to end up as a bagger in the grocery store. Benjamin was, for years, convinced his name was spelled B-E-M. My mother sparked a massive town scandal over test scores, of all things, and then wrote about it in the local newspaper, just in case I wasn’t already weird enough in middle school. My dad has devoted his life to studying pee. And me? Dude, I’m the worst of them. I mean, you’re reading this blog – I don’t have to tell you twice that I’m not so normal.
I’m totally fine with all this now – I’ve come to terms with it, have even grown to love some of our quirkier attributes – but this week’s sudden return to the wholesome remains a little foreign to me. A family that functions without excessive screaming, blood, sweat, urine samples, and tears? Weeks in Connecticut free of threats of being sent to private school/the family therapist/Vermont? What’s a grown-up weird girl to do?
Answer: embrace it, I guess. I mean, the puppies are cute. The sunshine feels good on my face. The food isn’t so bad.
And at the end of the day, despite the glean of perfection, my mom is still alarmingly obsessed with the Anthony Weiner scandal, my dad is still making off-color jokes and inciting riots on the tennis court with people we don’t know. Scratch a little bit below the surface, and life is still, blissfully, imperfect. Just like I’m used to.