Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Family Constants

Visiting my immediate family typically reminds me of a few constants I somehow manage to block out of existence when I am on my own.  The first being, my counseling skills are often no match for interactions with my siblings.  The pretense of being non-judgmental, open, and calm is difficult to maintain when you just want to throttle someone over their flagrant misuse of the words "literally" and "legitimately".  A sub-constant of this is that my siblings have an awe-inspiring ability to get under my skin in ways that make no sense.  This is a professionally useful constant because my brother and sisters push buttons I typically don't know exist; awareness is the ultimate gift for a therapist.  The second constant is that a visit with my family can never be dull.  In fact, some minor catastrophe is a requisite part of any gathering.  For example, when my sister Alisha was to graduate from high school, she was pulled over for speeding 100 yards from the school with something less than 10 minutes until the program started.  Despite being in her cap and gown, the cop was less than sympathetic to her plight.  This leads to the third constant: Dad to the rescue.  This is a newer constant, and it takes the place of an old one: fuck Dad.  Alisha was able to be a part of graduation; Dad charmed to cop into letting him take the ticket.  Ever one to oblige, I supplied the minor catastrophe(s) this go round.  As of yesterday, the car I drive is experiencing the tiny problem that is transmission failure.  Transmission failure + ice-packed, snow covered roads = hitting the ditch (and a small boulder) and spinning out into a meadow off of a somewhat isolated, dirt road.  I did a nice job of not rolling the car, or harming my passengers (with the exception of ceramic snowman filled with M&Ms) but I also did an equally nice job of springing the tire and bending the rear axle...sorry car...and snowman.  Of course, Dad to the rescue in the form of his truck, a tow chain, and most importantly, a golden lab named Sunny.  The fourth constant is the paradox my family creates regarding whether or not I want to stay longer or leave sooner.  I suppose that is one of the perks of having a family like mine, knowing that you could make either choice and it would legitimately be fine.

Today is my last day in the Hills.  This part of the world is partially sunny, snow covered, cold, and slow paced.  Tonight there will be night sledding, a bonfire, and roasted marshmallows.    

Sunny Always Makes Things Better

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