Thursday, December 24, 2015

Day 112: Wheels Down Christmas Eve

shhhh, little baby.
Three hours of sleep. 5:45am wake up, 6am Lyft, 8:30am flight. Board the plane and sit, baby begins to cry in the seat behind. Merry Christmas Eve, everyone.

12/24/16, 2:06p

I'm sitting in an airplane, descending into Pittsburgh. The past few days have been tough and I've felt kind of resentful. (I know that makes me a selfish asshole.) Resentful that I had to go out of my way, defect from my plans and use gas money to head way south, way early, to be flown home for the holidays. This was my time, I thought. And everything changed.

I really only feel comfortable admitting this because now that I can feel the energy of home, the prospect of seeing people I haven't seen in over 100 days, I'm excited. Beyond, a bit. Giddy, perhaps. 

I didn't realize how detached I had grown. Self-reliance comes with a side affect of a hidden sort of selfishness. What is self-serving for me today? As we head towards wheels down, I am very happy to be here. It was worth the 1,200 mile detour. What is a trip of a lifetime worth if you haven't a family (and friends) with whom to share it?

We deboarded. I grabbed my bag and headed outside to wait. I texted my mom and learned that my father was picking me up, a happy surprise to me. He exited his car to greet me, medical mask across his face, his head now completely bald. Cancer is a bitch. A familial hug - from my calming voice of reason, my brother in rubbertramping 40 years later - assured me I was where I was supposed to be.

On the way home I knew he was tired, but I was happy to be chatting with him in person and enjoying the 70 some degree, sunny day. A ridiculous thing for December in southwest Pennsylvania. We got home and I got a hug from my momma and greeted by sisters and brother-in-laws and a gaggle of nieces and nephews.

Last year I lost my bedroom to my sisters' growing families. I was relocated to the basement pull-out sofa. I was really upset last year. This year it's an upgrade; it's not a trunk or a couch or a stranger's home. It's *my* home, because I realize no matter where I end up or how far I go, Pittsburgh will *always* be "home. And I'm happy to be here, surrounded by the warm comfort of family. (Which is good because the weather followed me and it's dropped out of the 70's tomorrow just in time for my arrival and dismay. ha!)

"Now go tell mommy what I said..."
"Mommy, I'm a pot head. hahahahahaha!"
::sister looks at me disapprovingly, i smile and declare: i love being an aunt. 

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