I went home last weekend to celebrate Easter with my parents and younger sister. I love my family with all of my heart, but my love for my hometown runs about as deep as the dried-up riverbeds on the outskirts of town.
But, my mom wanted me to come home, so I agreed. I thought it would give me a much-needed opportunity to finish a research paper and catch up on my sleep.
I pulled into our driveway after more than four hours of driving and was immediately greeted by my mom’s smile and outstretched arms. It was then I suddenly remembered that going home is like being a kid again. All weekend, my parents took care of me and my needs while I slept, ate and played.
Without asking, my mom washed and folded the majority of the month’s worth of laundry I’d brought home, and my dad washed my truck, even spending extra time to shine up the hubcaps. I ate three hot, homemade meals a day; I hung out with my Aggie sister; and I even spent one evening playing catch with my dad in the backyard.
The childlike and carefree weekend reached its pinnacle Sunday afternoon. After returning from church, my sister and I started loading our vehicles in preparation for our drives back to college. However, the Easter bunny made an unexpected stop in our backyard. Apparently, he hides eggs for the 18- to 21-year-old demographic these days.
I walked to the backyard thinking the hunt would be mediocre at best. Due to harsh, Panhandle weather conditions and a desolate landscape to begin with, our huge backyard contains one tree, a cement slab for the patio furniture and a grill. However, the Easter bunny had a trick up his sleeve – the plastic eggs we hunted were colored and textured to look like things you naturally find in a backyard. Some were green and spiky to look like grass, some were dark brown with a rough exterior similar to a nut freshly fallen from a tree, and some were gray and rocklike. Not only did this catch me off guard, but they were actually a challenge to spot in our barren yard.
After finding all the eggs, we went back inside the house, and I started loading up my truck, feeling a tinge of sadness at the thought of going back to my life in the adult, college world full of responsibilities and obligations.
Transforming into a kid last weekend was just what I needed. When I’m at school, I can wear my colorful Keds, bows and outfits that don’t always match to revert back to childhood, but being home, having my parents take care of me and feeling a sense of security and relaxation is keeping me sane.
Sometimes I need to act like a kid – I think I’ll appreciate it in five years when I have a real job and real bills and a month’s worth of laundry staring me in the face.