As some of you already know, I’m heading out in a few hours to go on a road trip to Florida to explore Orlando, Kissimmee, Cape Canaveral, and Palm Beach. My dad, mom, brother, and I are all stuffed into a forty-foot RV that we call the Big Rolling Turd. Oh, and my cat comes with us because she loves the open road as much as we do. (Think Flat Stanley, but with a housecat.)
Recently I was with my mom when we ran into one of her friends who asked me, “Isn’t it ‘uncool’ to be going on vacation with your parents?” My answer was a blunt and very important, “No way.” It’s not uncool at all. In fact, I think it’s one of the best parts about our family.
But, it wasn’t always cool.
Now, please don’t misinterpret what I’m saying. We are like any other family. We fight. We annoy. We argue. We frustrate. We apologize. We forgive. We yell. We cry. We laugh. We love.
As many of you know, I can be very, very stubborn. But you haven’t met Stubborn until you’ve met my dad. He wears a scowl that intimidates anyone, but he’s one of the gentlest giants. And though my mom’s natural resting-bitch-face sometimes makes her look unpleasant, she’s the kindest person most people could ever know. There’s my brother, who is categorically a typical twenty-one year old male. And then there’s me. Put us all in a 480-square foot tin box for the next ten days and we’re bound to crash into one another’s final nerves.
Life is crazy and stressful. My family, despite how insane they drive me, keep me grounded.
When I was younger, my parents used to make it a point to make sure we were all at the dinner table together. Although this wasn’t always easy to do, we made it work. When I was young, I didn’t like it. I didn’t like having to wait to go over to a friend’s house until after dinner was over. I wanted to be out hang out and do my own thing.
…So I did the most natural thing I could think of when I was twenty-two and presented with the opportunity to flee. I fled. Two thousand miles across the United States, I landed in a small town in the middle of the desert. And looking back on it… I had to move across the country only to discover I wanted to be back home. No place would be home without my family.
And now, our home is in this camper and we have two thousand miles and ten days to go.
To the person who asked me if it was “uncool” for me to hang out with my parents, let me answer it the same simple way I did before: No, it’s not uncool. In fact, I consider myself to be pretty damn lucky to have such supportive, awesome, and incredible parents. If you have kids of your own, or when you do, may you be so fortunate to raise them well enough for them to want to spend their time with you.
"I have no special talent.