Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Family and Phone Calls
I talked to my parents today for 2 hours on the phone.
I am so super lucky, because while I live on a different continent than my family, traveling and writing and all around having a fantastic time, I've got parents who are happy about it. They don't guilt me for being so far from home, and they don't constantly ask when we're moving back home. (And Mom works very hard not to ask when we're finally going to have a baby, aside from the occasional remark thrown in just in case we forget. Thanks, Mom.) I miss them terribly, and I struggle with the holidays and birthdays and general family get-togethers I miss living so far from them, but I'm also eternally grateful for this crazy opportunity to explore more of the world. They understand that; my brother and sister, too.
Sure, we talk about how long Chris and I think we'll be living where we are now, and about when we might move closer to home. We talk about who just won their soccer game and who lost a tooth (nieces and nephews, not my parents), and we compare the weather between here and there. But we also talk about up-coming trips and what we've all got going on, like we live down the street. I love unlimited calls to the States, and I am really grateful for my supportive family. Honestly, I don't know if I'll be so cool with my future child if I go through all the effort, stretch marks and labor pain to bring them into the world, just to have them grow up and move halfway around the world from me. How dare they have their own life!
If I could write something so phenomenal it made me instantly rich, I'd visit home more often just to hang out, and I'd fly them all out to see me all the time. Really, I would. It would just be nice to see them all often enough to have the chance to become sick of them. I know that sounds odd, but truly, I look forward to the day that stopping by my brother's house or picking up my niece Megan for a movie or something is so commonplace, it's boring and a nonevent. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the big deal feeling I get when we visit home, because it doesn't happen all too often, but normalcy that includes these great people I'm related to would be...nice.
Until then, we have the phone. Something Chris doesn't understand, and I know he's not alone in this, is my ability to talk at length with any of my immediate family members. Seriously, I just talked to my parents a week or so ago, but today was another easy two hours. When Chris used to ask me what on Earth we talk about for that long, it's hard to answer him without outright listing it all out. Depending on which family member I've got on the opposite end of the line, topics covered may include the community events my parents just helped organize and run in the small town they're now a part of in their retirement; what Rosie's got growing in the garden this year; Zachary's ant farm; Hannah's baseball or soccer game; the fact that Megan is a teenager; how Josh's guitar playing is coming along; some crazy case Tracy just had at the hospital, like the wine bottle that was stuck ... in a tight spot; the awesome new smoothies Gary has been making and how much I love my new juicer; the big changes coming to fruition soon and all the meetings Gary and Krista have been having while trying to get it all together; the trip Chris and I just took, and the ones we're planning next; how much snow everyone not living in Florida got this winter; how all the dogs are doing; who was sick recently and how long it lasted; my dad's weather station and today's wind speed; the 30 books my mom read last week, and which she liked best, and so on, and so forth. We talk about every little thing, and while Chris finds it challenging to stretch a phone conversation beyond the fifteen minute mark, I'm getting caught up on all the tiny details of the lives I'm not physically a part of right now. Keiths can talk, and I really love it.
So thank you, my family, for the support you give me from across an ocean. It means more to me than you all know, and my life would certainly not be as rich without it. Missing you guys reminds me that I'm extremely lucky to be in a place that allows me to miss you, and that I've got you to miss at all. Love you.