The main reason why I didn’t blog, write, or really communicate with anyone the last few weeks is because my sister was in town. And no offense but I wasn’t going to sacrifice a single moment with her just to blog. For her birthday this year we got her a round trip plane ticket to come see us for a week. After a few discussions we decided to offer a more extended trip and changed it so she would stay for a month. I am very happy we did because the poor kid had jet lag for the first four days she was here. There would have been some serious caffeinated beverage IVs if she hadn’t had more time. It worked out though because I used the mornings that she slept to help the house recover fro the move and make some sense of where I was going to put things.
At least Firefly got to recover from jet lag in the Guest Suite (we are giving it a fancy name to entice our friends out for a visit). It was seriously put together only a few hours before her plane got here. and I added more stuff as time went on. Some day I’ll paint it to match the color scheme.
Having Firefly here was a wonderful experience for Honey and I, and for her too I suspect. We had fun showing her around, taking her to the shops and restaurants we liked. We had excuses for day trips and of course we got to spoil her a little bit. She’s 17 so we weren’t really baby-sitting or playing Mom & Dad, but she isn’t really an adult yet either so we had some say in the rules. She was incredibly helpful with cooking and cleaning and a wonderful guest. I also took her to a local University for her first college tour, it was a beautiful campus but she wasn’t feeling it. In hind site I should have waited longer into the trip because she was just at that critical moment of homesickness for her friends that made her just see it as being far away from everyone she knew. I tried unsuccessfully to explain that even if she goes to a college close to home or to the same school as some of her friends that doesn’t mean she will necessarily continue her friendships with them. It’s hard trying to explain how everything changes once you graduate from high school without completely terrifying someone. By the end of her trip, her tune had changed.
We had many heart to hearts while she was here, talking about college and our parents and what her real options were vs what she was being told her options were. I think some of it helped. We have offered to let her live with us for a while after graduation if she wants to set up residency here and eventually go to school, but we’ll see. Going to school on the other side of the state would be a change, let alone across country. I just wanted to let her know she has options, the world doesn’t seem as big as it is when you only grow up in one place. The trip was good her because she came alone and got to where she needed to be be by herself, it probably taught to trust herself a little bit more.
Since she came here right as we moved in she became part of our lives in our new place. I must admit saying good-bye to her at the airport was ridiculously hard, in fact the week before she left I was near to tears on quite a few occasions. She was also upset at the prospect of leaving, we offered to have her stay longer if she wanted (another three weeks) and she deliberated on that for quite a while. In the end she thought she should go home, I think because she didn’t want to deal with our parent’s reaction. She told me the day she left that she wished there had been rain and delays so she could had stayed. She killed me when she said that, it made me want to pull her out of line and call my parents on the way home explaining she wasn’t coming back. I won’t lie, I gave serious thought to what would happen if we just never put her on a plane back. But I wanted her to make a decision and have it just be hers, not what others wanted for her. She has to make a lot of decisions in the next few years, so I figure a little practice wouldn’t hurt.
She had a lot of firsts on this trip. First of all she flew across country by herself, with a layover on each side of the trip (even I haven’t done that). She saw fireflies for the first time, heard cicadas, saw new and unusual bugs, saw many real lightning storms, met relatives she only saw as a child, got to play with fireworks, read different types of books, explored new towns, roasted a chicken, and got caught in a downpour while swimming…what can I say, it rained around 6 inches while she was here. And of course her and I talked to each other in more of a sister way, than in the mom and child way that we have had in the past.
She told me things that broke my heart and then things that gave me hope. This trip while giving her a break from daily life also gave her a chance to see the world from a different angle, which is probably important at this stage of the game. It also made her know that even if there is distance, Honey and I have her back no mater what. Sometimes just knowing that makes it easier to deal with the crap. While I know the issues she has to face from growing up with the same cast of characters, the setting is a bit different and the plot has way too many twists. I had Mimi to go to, hopefully Firefly feels like she can come to us.
Of course we were not the only ones that didn’t take her departure well. Bailey was practically beside himself when he saw her luggage out of the closet and whenever she left the room he followed. I think he is also onboard if she decides to come live with us, what do you think?
We have talked a lot since she got back, she seems to be doing ok. She is keeping herself busy with friends and trying a few things to keep her mind busy so she doesn’t get summer brain rot. I’m trying to keep myself busy too, with making the house ours and starting up my writing schedule again. Since she was here at the beginning of our life at this house, it has been an adjustment in her absence. But that just gives us a chance to do some more research into all things fun on the East Coast for her next trip out.