Remember as a kid thinking you couldn’t wait until you were an adult and you got to set the rules? When people didn’t get to tell you want to do? And how much better it would be? How’d that work out for you?
For most of my adult life, I was the parentless adult who travelled for the holidays. I’ll admit that it irked me somewhat that I was expected to follow the plans others made. I was told what the family was going to do, then I could make plans to attend. And it was expected I was going to be there, I mean who else was I going to be with other than my family?
Looking back with the wisdom of age, I didn’t realize how lucky I was/am. There is no shortage of LGBTQ youth who are not welcome back home. So it was a “tough” problem to have being ‘expected’ to be there. But in the me centric days of my younger self, it bothered me that I wasn’t asked what I wanted to do.
What a difference a child makes.
Gone are the days others make plans and expect us to be there. Before decisions are made, I’m asked about what I’m planning. I’m now a real adult. (Don’t get me started on why having a kid is the only metric for deciding real adults from pretend ones.)
I like the old way better.
Not really, but it created fewer issues. Expectations made it simple, I didn’t have to make choices. I just followed the script. To be fair, I could have made other plans, but I didn’t want to deal with the fallout.
The seismic shift from me first to child first put me (well me and Mike) in the decidering spot. I believe ‘lil q should be allowed to wake up Christmas morning and run down to open her gifts. She should have the chance to enjoy them without rushing off somewhere. In short, I’ve decided we’re staying home on Christmas. I’ve made the plan and am telling everyone else. I don’t expect anyone to come to my house, but they are all welcome. The reality is my siblings have their own families and want the same for their children.
And there is the part I don’t like so well.
What brought this introspective moment on you ask? My parents and siblings had Thanksgiving together on the west coast. My brother and sister live about a five-hour drive apart. My parents flew out and they were all together. We didn’t go. I’d say one year soon, but that’s a lie.
Traveling from one coast to the other for three days isn’t practical. The cost of flying at that time of year is high, the cost to board the dogs is very high and the craziness of flying that week is way too stressful. Taking that trip means forgoing another one later in the year. Two frenetic travel days for just three days isn’t smart. (Now if I had a private plan and didn’t have to work, that would change the equation.)
But not going makes me feel guilty. I want to go. I want to see everyone. I, I, I.
I’ve yet to see the ‘so much better when I’m an adult,’ part of being an adult. (Yes, some of us take longer to grow up and realize the truth. 🙂 )
Happy Holidays everyone!
Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting with technology, he now takes his MacBook somewhere quiet when he wants to write.
Since devouring The Lord of the Rings as a preteen, he has been a fan of all things fantastical. His imagination has helped him create works of high fantasy, paranormal thrills and touch of the futuristic. He also writes the occasional contemporary story.
He currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his husband of twenty-two years. Together they are raising their pre-school age daughter and three dogs. Andrew tries to squeeze writing time in around his most important jobs, being husband and ‘Papa.’ Along with teaching how to kick a soccer ball or ride a scooter, he has become fluent in cartoon characters and children’s books. To find out more about Andrew, his writing and his family, follow him on his website or on Facebook.
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