Sunday, August 26, 2012

Home again, home again.

Wow. I'm still kind of shocked. After being away from my home and my parents for more than two full months, to finally be home and sleeping in my bed and having family dinner again is wild.

Yesterday was my last day with my aunt and uncle. Friday night we weighed my luggage (which weighed in at 75 lbs - just a tad too heavy! Whoops!) and did a lot of last minute rearranging so that I could get through security all right. We went for our last evening walk and had our last ice cream sandwiches and watched our last bit of TV. It was a really nice evening that we got to spend together, and I'm sure we'll be doing it again sometime, but for now it feels like an ending.

Yesterday we were up bright and early (and by that I mean BEFORE the sun...ugh, reminds me that school is coming). After a  night of little to no sleep, I slept the entire three hour drive to San Antonio and woke up feeling much more refreshed. We hauled my bags off to the baggage claim and then just stood around outside security, not knowing what to say but not wanting to say goodbye. Eventually we shared some tearful hugs and I headed off to security all by myself.

It was my first time flying alone. Scary, right? I got through security fine, even with my backpack stuffed to the gills and my "personal item" (aka carry-on number two) practically spilling over with all my crap. I had to do some quick rearranging when we finally boarded because my backpack wouldn't fit under the seat OR in the over-head compartment. Is it just me or are planes getting smaller and smaller?

Unfortunately I didn't manage to take any pictures, but our ascent was amazing. I have flown a few times before with friends and family, but I always forget how breathtaking it is to be at the same level as the clouds and see how smooth they are underneath and then how chaotic and fluffy they can be on top. It was quite a site and for most of the flight I just sat, completely breath-taken, staring at the clouds.

I had a 50 minute layover in Detroit, which was uneventful. I ate some of the blueberry muffin that had gotten squished in my bag, and talked to my parents for quite awhile. Finally it was time for the last leg of the flight! It was a short one - only about an hour and a half from Detroit to Manchester, and luckily I  was seated next to a cute Asian boy about my age to keep things interesting (although he did sleep the whole way...shows how good company I am). Before I knew it the day was over and I was ready to see my parents!!!

Although they weren't there. Seriously. I got off the plane, a huge smile on my face, ready to run into their waiting arms...and they were nowhere in sight. So I called my mom. Here's how that conversation went:

Mom: What?
Me: Mom? Uh...yeah, we just landed. Where the heck are you?
Mom: I'm - oops - I'm in the bathroom - I'm about to pee myself okay callmebacklaterbye.

My mother is crazy. I waited, practically in hysterics, until I saw her come rushing out of the bathroom towards the baggage claim, afraid she missed me or something. Anyways, we hugged and laughed and brought my stuff out to where my dad was waiting in the parking lot, at which point there were more hugs. Because all of use were starving we went out to dinner at Bugaboo Creek, which is by far the most classically woodsy-type restaurant ever. We're talking singing moose heads and stuffed fish on the walls. I mean this place just screamed "hick town". Ohhh New Hampshire...gotta love it.

By the time we got home it was nearly midnight, which wouldn't have seemed so late if I wasn't running on two hours of sleep in the last 24 hours. My dog (who looked so tiny and fat and potato-shaped compared to the lean, mean, fighting machine basenji that I was used to seeing) was so excited to see me, which was pretty endearing - even though he's already over that and back to ignoring me. I can't even describe to you how nice it felt coming home. Everything seemed cuter and more quaint and warmer and safer and I just wanted to lie down in my (uncomfortable) bed and never leave.

Looking back, I can say that this summer was the most life-changing summers I've ever had. While the internship at my aunt's private practice was great, it was nothing compared to the experience I got living with her. By being away from home and the protection of my parents, I was able to become more independent. By not having anyone to tell me what I should and shouldn't do, I became more responsible. By always trying to be on my best behavior, I became more mature and polite. By being surrounded by such loving and happy people, I became more loving and happy. By being away from home and the people I love, I became more grateful for what I have. I know that I benefitted from this experience in more ways than I can even imagine right now, but I can say this: I wouldn't change a thing.

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