Here, Now

The blood moon (and a Supermoon as well, I think) rising over the ocean last night.

If you’ve been following my Insta stories, you already know this, but surprise! I left the country. I’m in the Cayman Islands with my parents, because there’s been some health stuff going on with my family lately, and a couple of weeks ago they asked me to come with them on their trip, and so I used a bunch of miles and booked a ticket. I wanted (or needed, really) to come down and spend a few days diving with my dad and hanging out and talking with my mom.

And so this is where I am now.

I’m visiting them alone – no husband, no kids – and it was kind of amazing, the speed with which I reverted to being a fourteen-year-old slouched in the backseat of a car with a book in my face. When I travel with Kendrick and the kids, I virtually always play the role of the cruise director – we need to be in this place at this time, and in order to do that we need to leave at this time, and CAN EVERYBODY PLEASE PUT ON THEIR SHOES?

It is weird, being an adult (not to mention a married parent of two) traveling alone with her own parents; not having to make the rental car arrangements, or research local restaurants to figure out where to have dinner. It is weird, having my mom be the one yelling I SPEND HALF MY LIFE LOOKING FOR YOUR STUFF at my dad instead of me yelling it at Kendrick (apparently daily wallet loss is a Universal Guy Thing).

It is weird, sitting and reading a book in silence next to people who are sitting and reading in silence, too. Everyone else in my life seems to think this is antisocial, but it’s always been something my parents and I have done together. To me it’s always just felt calm.

If you’re an only child, I think you know what I’m getting at here: For years – decades – it was just me and them. And every once in awhile, it helps to just be us again for a minute, so we can remember that it’s not only our history together that matters; where we are right now matters, too.

  • KB

    this was very nice to read. I put my finger recently on a certain parenting trope that really bothers me: the idea that children growing up means children leaving you in some fundamental sense, and if you’re a wise parent, you’ll take that knowledge in stride. That used to make me sad for a minute, until I realized: that’s some bullshit. There’s no deep sense in which I’ve “left” my parents when I got married and had a kid – what happened was our family expanded into one with new traditions and sources of joy and love, and one that now makes room for me, my husband, and my son within it. What makes that difficult to see is a very recent capitalist ideology that erases the notion of family structure beyond an immediate nuclear unit.

    • jordanreid

      agree. my family – like everyone’s – has its unique quirks, and one of them happens to be that it’s always been easiest for us (and my dad and I in particular) to communicate when it’s just us. we were always a kind of insular family, and I spent a long time pushing back against that, even being angry about it, but I’ve come to realize that my relationship with my parents is essential enough to me that I’m okay with making choices that permit me to give them what they (and I, if I’m being honest) need – which sometimes means dedicated time with just them.

  • Olivia

    I feel like we don’t, as a culture, talk enough about how to be our parent’s child as an adult. My dad and mom still take me to the doctor (I mean, let’s be real, it’s like a vacation because no kids and I don’t have to drive) sometimes, and there’s something to be said for being vulnerable enough to go back to that “spot” in your head with the people who raised you.

    • jordanreid

      totally agree. I felt all anxious leading up to this trip, feeling like I had to justify it somehow – I mean, who does adult things with their adult parents? – but now that I’m here I feel like…oh. I needed this. and they did, too. and k’s ok, the kids are ok – it’s just okay.

  • Staci Lawrence

    Happy you are getting to do this and hope everyone’s health is improving. Getting to know your parents as actual adult people is a gift.

  • Paige

    beautiful! i love spending Q time with my parents. it’s amazing to revert to ‘being a kid,’ sometimes.