I recently visited my parents after a year and half of not being able to visit them. It was nice to disconnect from my LA life and see new people. Let me be honest, I love my boyfriend, but it is nice to see other people. I have been quarantined with him, the cat, and the dog for a long while now and I have been abiding by the rules. No gatherings, no visitation, just staying cooped up in my home, doing my part in stopping the spread of COVID.
It was a warm welcoming and far overdue. I have missed my parents dearly and enjoyed spending alone time with them. Even if it was just watching TV. It is the little things that I appreciate the most. Overall, it was nice to be home and see everyone.
Leading up to the trip I was worried about fitting in. I know it sounds strange but being cooped up made me worried that I may not know how to be around other people. Would I be more weird than normal?
I packed up my car and headed north. The drive was nice and allowed me some time to clear my mind from the day to day worries we all carry. I think being in the car alone for five plus hours is the most time I have spent alone during quarantine. No barking. No meowing. No interruptions. It was nice to listen to some music and center myself before I arrived at my sisters.
It was nice to visit my sister and have adult conversations. As weird as that sounds, my older sister and I have not always gotten along. Whether it has been miscommunication or clashing of personalities, it was nice to spend time without us rolling eyes at one another. Plus, I was able to see my beautiful nieces and nephew. I always enjoy spending time with the kids and listening to their perspective about the pandemic. Kids are truly resilient.
I was excited to get back on the road and head my parents’ way. There is nothing better than a hug from your mom and dad. I thought it would be more dramatic, think Hallmark, when I saw my parents, but it was not. My parents were super chill and were elated to see me – no tears. I am not much of a hugger, but to feel a warm embrace from your family melted my heart.
I enjoyed spending time with my youngest brother and his girlfriend as we attempted to catch kittens so that I can bring one home with me. My father laughed at us and proclaimed we would not be able to catch the kitten . . . he was right. It was worth the effort and bonding experience. I will catch that kitten the next time I go and visit.
While at my parents, I decided to look through the archive of boxes I had left at my parents when I moved to Los Angeles. I ended up throwing a lot of stuff while going through the boxes. For example, three zip lock bags of notes between myself and friends from high school. All about boys I do not remember, and sadly from people I vaguely remember. I had to say goodbye to it and kept the good stuff.
I found my CD binder that contains the best of the best music from my childhood. I had to bring that back to me and am considering purchasing a CD player because, why not? What I was surprised by was my writing. I found some pieces from 1999. It survived living in a box, and I had completely forgotten about it all. It was fun to read through it and laugh at myself. I enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane, but I was kind of impressed at some of the writing I was doing at thirteen/fourteen years old. I was digging in deeper than writing about love and butterflies. I am thoroughly impressed with my young self. I am thinking about typing up some of my poems to keep them forever. Maybe I can show them to my future children?
Before the days of Pinterest, we scrapbooked to create masterpieces like the one above.
This included hours of going through magazines and making sure you cut out everything exactly and placing it all in the exact spot without ruining the final product. There were no do-overs. I remember being dedicated at crafting my Mariah Carey collage. I even went as far as using some of the CD sleeves that came with the discs to finish it.
As you can tell, my favorite album at the time was Butterfly. If you have never listened to the album in its entirety, I kindly ask that you do. It is one of her best albums to date. The vibe and sound are amazing.
Before I made the drive back to the traffic ridden city, I visited my younger sister. It was nice to see her new place she moved into during the pandemic or was it before? I can't quite remember, regardless I was able to visit her and spend quality time. I even spent quality time with my nephew, Henry (see below). He was so sweet and a delight to be around.
It was sad to leave home because it seemed like the week went by in a blink of an eye. I want to spend more time with all my siblings and nieces and nephew! Twenty-twenty deprived me of so much, but it grounded me. As we enter the space of less restrictions and some normalcy, I pray I stay grounded and appreciate all the moments that are yet to happen. They mean so much more these days.