When I was born 27 years ago in a stable–oh wait, that was Jesus 2027ish years ago–but like Jesus, I wasn’t planned, so when I was born 27 years ago in Harrisburg Hospital, all twisted up in that cordy thingy, I was definitely screaming, “I’m here despite your efforts! Muhahahaha! And as you can see, I’m trouble, Mom!”
As the third of three redheads, it didn’t look good for two weary parents.
By the time the parental units got to me they were tired from the other two less important siblings, which allowed me to ease into the art of manipulation at such a tender, young age. The satisfaction I received from getting what I wanted only spurred forth my craft and boundary pushing.
As a child, I was in a constant state of needing to be the absolute center of attention. Usually this showcased itself in me dressing up, dancing, singing, talking, and generally refusing to let adults do anything but focus on the obnoxious child in the center of the room wearing sneakers, a big pink hat, and a purple dress with the biggest bow the early 90s fashion would permit. You may ask, what has changed? Well, the bow got smaller.
As I grew up, I became a teenager, by all accounts a fairly decent one. We had our qualms. I felt like I knew everything and deserved everything (I stand by that logic). They learned to deal with my hysterical passionate moments over the most trivial of items like when someone had the same prom dress as me. The world, miraculously, did not implode.
The real challenges came later in life for us. In my early 20s I was going everywhere an airplane would take me which also meant that the home base when in America was at my ‘rents. I loved my parents, but for whatever reason, if there wasn’t an ocean between us, it wasn’t far enough. After any stint away, I stayed at home till I could jet-set to another continent. Meanwhile, I was mopey, grumpy, sad, snippity (are those characters from a fairytale?). Nothing like your parents greeting you at the airport and you start crying about how much you don’t want to be there.
As I got “stuck” at home more, waiting for the next step in life, my parents learned that living together was less than ideal. I was whiney, sad, unhappy, ungrateful, essentially reverting to my persona of my first years on earth. The only thing that made me happy was new clothes which made me sad because I didn’t want to wear them around Camp Hill, PA. The continual mood swings and the difficulty I had finding a job as far as I could from the parents turned into dark times.
But within the darkness there is light, and the light was me finding work and relocating to Washington. What I didn’t realize is just how much they wanted to keep me down here.
After over a year and a half of living in DC, I finally moved into my very own apartment. My parents proved a great help with this process. They wanted to ensure I’m comfortable here as to never even have an inkling to come home; probably not even for a long weekend. They assisted in getting awkward items to the third floor, assembling furniture in the apartment (oh, Ikea), and stocking the new pad with cleaning essentials. Throughout the arduous move on the hottest day of the year, my mother and father delighted in reaffirming that this was the last time they would help me move, that I’d be very happy here for a very long time, that now it was time to dispose of all leftover memories still at home in a garbage bag with stuff they think I won’t know is gone from my childhood room (which is why my dollhouse is here, [see future blog post]).
In a way, compared to my older brother and sister, I took a very scenic approach to entering adulthood, one that I’m happy I took but also left me somewhat stagnant for a while. Because of this, I have a somewhat unique relationship with my mom and dad, and because of this, they love me a lot and like me much less some days.
So, this past weekend, the message was clear from my parents in the speed, agility, and enthusiasm they tackled assembling my room (despite age). They care about me and want me to be happy, but they prefer if I live within the 48 great, stay just below the Mason Dixon, and keep a steady job that keeps a steady distance between our abodes because no one wants those to overlap again.
And also, that after seeing the amount of clothes I have, promise to shop a little less, at least until my furniture is paid for. I will never make a promise I can’t keep.