What Happens When You're Reunited With Parents

Being that my parents live in Australia and I live in New York, I've managed to get about as far away from them as I could possibly get. Not because I have anything against my parents, but because career, adventure, upwardly mobile youth blah, blah, get the idea. I love my parents. They're the best people in the world. So you can see why it would suck when sometimes I don't get to see them for a year (or two) at a time. I'm getting emotional just writing this because mommy, please will you cut the crusts of my sandwich and then hold me close and tell me a story about a fearless heroine but the trick is that the fearless heroine is actually me?

I'm not the only person who lives far from home. There are so many of us little castaways, just floating far from our parents, wishing that our life choices could have involved just about anything that would have grounded us and kept us living next door to our fabulous parents forever and ever. But alas. Some of us were reckless, wanted to see more, learn more, take risks and do the whole "Princess Jasmine climbing over the castle wall and escaping into the marketplace even though she's got it pretty good at dad's house" thing. When I do get to see my parents, it's full of feels. For those of you who spend extended time away from the body you incubated in, you'll understand these 7 things that happen upon reunion all to well.


At the moment of reunion, there will most likely be tears. Many tears, hugs, and choked "I missed you"s. Hopefully said reunion will occur at an airport, which will give you the maximum amount of melodrama reunion bang for your buck.


You literally will shadow your parents for days on end. You'll appear like an apparition and scare the living shit out of your mom while she's brushing her teeth. You'll follow your dad all around the house as he does boring house stuff. Even when you've got nothing to say or no reason to be there, you will not be able to leave a three foot radius of your parents.


Eventually, old habits will start to irk you. Dad talks through movies. Mom asks you 20 questions the second you walk in the door. You are a total Grumpy Gus in the morning. But you're so happy to be back with your family that you'll deny any sense of becoming perturbed that might be creeping in. Your parents are perfect. You are perfect. Everything is perfect.


But then eventually everything will come crashing down around you and your 24/7 puppy dog approach to reunion with your parents will turn into you getting annoyed at all the things that always annoyed you about them. Like why does your mom take 30 minutes to type "OK" into a text message? Why is she typing "OK" anyway, even after you'd told her she doesn't need to do that where the previous text doesn't require acknowledgement? Reuniting with parents is always a case of too much, too fast. In your excitement, you forget that parents are people too, and therefore capable of being very annoying.


You'll become the version of yourself that only exists when you're with your family. If that's a petulant brat, it's a petulant brat. For me, it's a little baby that needs constant cuddles and cooing. I need my mother to hug me a lot, and humor me when I'm hungry but don't want to eat a single thing in the world because I am a fussy newborn who can't speak except for strange grunts. It doesn't matter how old or independent you are, there's a part of you that's always going to be your parents' child, and it will come out when you're around them.


There's always a moment of realization that if you can't rely on any one else in the world, these are the people who will always be there. No matter how infantile you sometimes behave around them, or how annoying and old they can seem to you, they're your best friends. No one will ever love you more, and you will never love any one more. They're the ones that know everything about you and never pass judgement. They're the ones who, when the world fails you or you fail the world, you can crawl into the lap of and stay quietly and without question, until you feel safe to go back outside again.


Once you're reunited with your parents, chances are you'll never want to leave again. But you may have to. And there's a sense of dread at that impending moment that makes you feel like you can't breathe. You'll wonder how it is that you survive living so far away, and forget entirely that you just do it, and in just doing it, it happens to work. If you're anything like me, you'll have a 24 hour flight ahead of you in which you will sob hysterically and uncontrollably, and probably a week or two adjustment period to being without them again. As my mom says, "Home is where they love you" (and everywhere else will ever quite compare).

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