jolly melancholy

Holidays are getting really hard for me.

I miss my family tremendously but even more so on holidays, today included. It doesn’t help that it’s been so dry out here that fireworks were cancelled, what’s the Fourth of July without fireworks? Kind of lame, that’s what. But then again there’s thousands of people who aren’t at home tonight because their homes are in danger of burning down from wildfires.

Somebody always has it worse.

Which is why I feel awfully ungrateful pouting about missing my family. At this very moment they’re finishing up a dinner of my dad’s perfect cheeseburgers, my step mom’s potato salad and a dozen other things that taste better when sitting around the table in my parent’s back yard. They’re filling giant bowls with cake and ice cream and moving their chairs to then end of the driveway where they’ll watch the neighbors set off fireworks and then watch the big fireworks show at the park through the trees. They’ll then stay up for another hour setting off more fireworks before heading off to bed in a sunscreen and smoke scented stupor.

That’s how I spent every Fourth (and pretty much every Sunday night, minus the fireworks) before moving to Indiana, six years later it’s still hard to forget.

When we were living around so many other students we would all get together since we were all far from home and it made being on our own a little less lonely. Now that we’re in a house and far away from where we started out in Indianapolis, we’re alone. I truly to enjoy being just the four of us, most of the time. But when holidays come around and our neighbors’ driveways and backyards are full of family, friends, and the smell of barbeque, I get sad. We spent the afternoon together at a park then went out to dinner, there was another family of four leaving the restaurant as we went in and I wanted to ask them if all of their family was far away too.

I have very good friends out here, but they all have their own family, their own traditions.

I realize we could start our own traditions, and that we should, but being together is really good enough for all of us.

The reality is that nothing we do out here will ever compare to being able to spend a holiday afternoon with our family in the places where we grew up, doing the same things we did as kids with our own.

At least not for me anyway.

saggy fun bags

While Addie and I were in Chicago she was with me pretty much everywhere I went, including the bathroom.

One morning as I was showering I turned around to see her staring at me intently. It wasn’t a judgmental sort of stare, just the kind of stare kids give when they’re trying to figure stuff out.

Music of Queen w- ISO 06.30.12-8498

“Mom? Why do your legs sag?” I could tell she thought she was going to get in trouble for asking.

“They’ve carried me for 30 years, you for 8 and Vivi for 2, they’re just a little tired of holding me up, that’s all.”

I can remember staring at my mom the same way and wondering the same thing, now that I have her legs down to the extra padding on my knees? I know it’s even more important that I don’t say anything negative about myself, especially in front of Addie, because my saggy knees may one day be hers and she needs to know that they’re really good knees, just not the ones magazines tell us we should have.

“Mom? Do you ever play with your chest?”


“Why not?”

“Why would I?”

“They just look fun, they’re so jiggly and floppy.”

“Daddy says the same thing sweetheart.”


“Nothing. Room service?”


May I be able to forever maintain the beauty of my squashy parts.