Those who have lived away from their family (especially overseas) for a period of time might know this to be true : Distance is both a blessing and a curse. With distance, you get to be yourself, experience things your own way, and be independent. But often distance also comes with loneliness. Now as someone who's spent most of her life living away from her family, I have grown accustomed to the distance. I actually love having my own personal space. However, the little girl in me still loves it whenever my mom and dad are around. I just want to be a kid and ask them to spoil me. And my brother? I still think he's one of the coolest people ever, no matter how annoying he gets sometimes. And I find myself trying to impress him or start a conversation with him whenever we are together. So yeah, the past 3 weeks of their visiting us here in Dallas have been awesome. And here are the things I learned :
1. You Came from Someone Else's Household
No matter how independent or smart you think you are, you were once taught, raised, and bred in someone else's household. So how they do things, what they value, and even how they communicate towards each other must have affected you in one way or the other. When you spend time with your family, you'd begin to know where various parts of you came from. You'd say things like, "No wonder I say that a lot! Mom used to say that all the time!" or "No wonder I hate that! My brother used to say that all the time.". Which brings me to my next point...
2. You Are A Lot Like Them
As annoying as it might be, yes. You are. Some habits are good, some might not fit the lifestyle of your new family with your spouse, so pay attention and preserve only the ones that fit your current household. And then, after a few arguments, you would find that...
3. You Are Not Like Them At All
Yeah. It's weird right? You are so like them but you are nothing like them at the same time. You would find yourself being the only one who's this or that. And suddenly, there's friction because of these differences. But don't take it too seriously. I really learned to listen to what they had to say and to humble myself enough to not get offended. As much as I wanted to talk back in a few instances, I knew I should just acknowledge our differences and move on. Because at the end of the day, we're family. Which brings me to the last point.
4. As Annoying As They Might Get Sometimes, You Will Miss Them When They're Gone
So love on them. They are a part of you for life!
When mine left, I felt hollow for a few minutes. I actually cried queitly. But then there's laundry, floors to sweep, and a kid to feed. So I quickly got myself together and went back to daily routines with J.
I still love distance. I love the fact that I could grow organically with my own family, without the intervention of others. But I love having them around every once in a while too. There's nothing like it :) And thank God for technology, I love having them available for me on my phone and iPad, no matter the distance, 24/7.
5. Your Kids Are Going to Move On Too One Day
Oh lawd, I still got long way to go until this one happens, but, it's gonna happen. One day, I'm not gonna be the person he lives with anymore. He's gonna move on from this household onto his own household. I hope he leaves with good memories, good habits and a divine legacy. And I hope he still loves seeing, texting or calling (or whatever communication method they have 20 years from now) his parents every once in a while. He might not be as needy as he is now, but I hope he still comes to me and Mr. Man for advice, and reaches for hugs whenever he sees us.
Oh family. The most beautifully chaotic yet growing and loving entity you'll ever be a part of in your life. And the beauty is, no matter who you are and where you came from, you'll always have one. You might not like yours, but you have one. You belong to one. Glad that I know, have, and love mine.