This weekend, I realized why I moved back to Virginia Beach, my crazy, silly, quirky family. I’ve been away chasing my dreams for the past eight years. I would come back periodically to visit, unwind, and collect myself. But, now I live just minutes away from my family. At first I thought they would cramp my style. You know how it is; mom calling all the time, sister nagging you, parents interjecting their opinion on your life choices. I can’t say I haven’t gotten a little of that. But, I’ve realized it’s perfectly ok.This weekend after a day of much needed girl time, I spent Saturday evening with my family. It was nothing extravagant. Come to think of we aren’t really extravagant people. My best childhood memories are simple; watching family home videos, eating breakfast together, and sometimes pranking each other. Yea we are a silly bunch.
My mom, dad, sister and I went grocery shopping at Sam’s Club. We love a bargain. She pushed her giant Sam’s club cart up and down the warehouse aisles, and I could barely keep up. I forgot my mother walks like she is always on a mission.“Oh my God, mom why are you walking so fast?” I said trying my best to keep up with her.
“You are so young girl, why are you lagging behind?,” she said.“Mom, I like to stroll. Stroll mom, I’m a stroll kind of chick.”
Honest goodness my mother turned around and said, “Girl ain’t nobody got time for strolling.”This is my mother, always on the move, never resting, she always has a project. My Dad is perusing the electronic aisle. I am secretly hoping he is shopping for the lab top I put on my Christmas list. Fingers crossed. He comes back and forth to the shopping cart periodically dropping almonds, water, and fruit in the basket. My Dad is always trying to be healthy. I think it’s where I get my eating habits from. Sometimes I stumble and order fries, ketchup and value size the tea. But, most of the time I am inclined to reach for healthier items; hummus, salad, baked chicken. As a Navy man my Dad is always trying to stay in shape. I remember as a kid he would wake up at 3:30 a.m. Monday through Friday to exercise before work. I think this is why I’m always trying to stay active.
I am trying to be budget conscience so before I place my items in the basket I access the price.“Umm, seven dollars for a huge thing of mouthwash? I’m not doing that, “ I said.
My mom smiles, “Well that is what you get when you come to a bulk store.”I decide I will find a CVS coupon and buy a smaller bottle. By the time we reach the check out line our cart is overflowing with my food, dad’s food, and the family’s food. I tell my mom I will pay her in cash the next day. She nods.
“Hey, I’ll get pizza for dinner tonight,” I said.My mother never asks me to repay her for groceries. I want to say, “Mom how much do I owe you?”
But, I know she really wants to do this for me without me drawing attention to it so I remain quiet on the ride to my condo. We separate groceries and my speedy Gonzalez mother hauls three bags inside and drops them on my kitchen floor. Again, why are we rushing?
Afterwards we all go back to my parents place to chill. I realize I haven’t chilled with my family in three months. I've been busy chasing assignments, dating, and trying to lose weight.
My dad goes into his home office off the kitchen. Inside his walls are covered with our accomplishments. Me and my brother’s college diplomas hang on the wall. My first head shot I gave him for Christmas is prominently in front of his desk. My sister’s drawings are hanging on a cork board. A picture of me and Aunt Doris is hanging up behind his desk. My mom’s nursing degree is also on the wall. My dad is extremely proud of us. I never doubt that. He may not always say it with his words but I know in my heart my dad works to help us achieve our dreams. If it weren’t for him helping me in college I know I wouldn’t be doing my dream job. He always wanted me to have more than he did. And, honestly at 29 I do have more than he did when he was in 20’s. I own a condo, I drive the car I love, and I almost never go without. Dad you’ve done well.
My mom makes me a glass of sangria, and I curl up in dad’s huge, brown recliner in his office, strategically placed in front of the television. I never realized how comfortable this chair is. After a few sips of sangria, and about 10 minutes of watching old Dateline episodes with my dad, I am asleep. When I wake up I feel so extremely rested, motivated, and recharged. There is a mixture of chocolate and peanut butter in the air. Mom is making cookies. How did she know I wanted cookies. With my mom’s peanut butter and chocolate cookies, sangria, and my iPad I get to work. I am my mother’s daughter, I am constantly working even when I know I should be taking a break. I try to be the queen of multitasking. There is a documentary about the D.C. Snipers on. I am watching t.v. , checking emails, and talking to my dad about how crazy the sniper cases were. Once the documentary is over, I figure it is time to go. As I’m about to leave dad picks up the remote and changes the channel. The picture turns to snowy, white air mess.“Hmm, I wonder what happen?” he said.
“Did you try restarting the t.v. that works at my place,” I said.
Dad spends about 15 minutes trouble shooting this t.v. mess and I can tell he is getting frustrated. I decide to leave the room so he can figure the TV problem.
“That’s it I’m calling Cox cable,” he says.
I shake my head. My dad for the most part is a patient man, but when he get frustrated it’s another story. And, for some reason my brother always find his frustration funny. Wrong, I know. I walk back in the room, to see dad holding the television remote in one hand and the phone in the other hand.
“What do you want me to do read out all the buttons on the remote?” dad says.I am laughing as I write this. My dad’s frustration is hilarious. I can’t even contain my laughter right now. I must tell my brother what is going on. I go down to the extra room off the house we call “the man room” It’s a huge space with a bar, refrigerator, and a television. It was once my dad’s man cave until my brother moved back.
“Jimmy you have to hear dad on the phone with the Cox people.”I explain to my brother what is going on and he bursts into laughter too. I walk back to my dad’s office, and the television is working again.
“Can you believe she wanted me to read the numbers on the remote,” dad says.“Dad, that poor Cox lady is probably so irritated right now.”
“Yea, she probably is but they work 24 hours,” he says.
My dad is hilarious. It’s getting late so I pack up all my stuff to leave. I walk in the living room to see my mother asleep on the couch and my nine pound Chorkie nestled next to her.“Goliath, come on it’s time to go home,” I say.
He lifts his little head, and then turns it to my mother.“Come on Goliath, let’s go,” I repeat.
He does not move. Even my dog finds comfort at my parents place. I can’t even get hurt about it. I understand why he loves my family. They are actually kind of cool. Sometimes they drive me crazy, but most of the time I adore them.