watching grown ups

this year marks the first thanksgiving i will NOT be spending at home.

not because i am finally doing the relationship thing and spending it at my boyfriend’s family, or because i can’t stand my relatives, or because i am in some exotic locale, i am not spending it there because i no longer have a “home.” (mom, please stop crying.)

this past fall my parents made the big step of moving out of the childhood home into a big city apartment. so long five bedrooms and suburbia, hello condo and neighbors you share a wall with.

post diaper changes, post back-to-school nights, post meeting the rocker boyfriend for the first time…post kids, they embark on a new journey. set free for the first time in over 18 years.

watching them go through this transition, is like being a proud parent, watching them grow up…kind of the reverse of what they watched me go through.

the first steps of getting their own place, curiously opening drawers and questioning the size and space of their new apartment three times as small as what they are used to; the temper tantrums of realization that no closet will ever be as big as the one they had in their suburban palace; the sheer excitement of discovering a  world where life is not confined to the gossip of gated communities and PTA meetings. the teenage giddiness they share when they realize that restaurants are open past 9pm…on a weeknight. the brewing anticipation of a new friendship with the neighbor down the hall who also loves all things formula 1.

i sit on the sidelines, rooting them on, in charge of bringing bite-sized words of encouragement. listening through angst-filled moments – the underground whole foods parking lot is really not that bad and yes, parking enforcement is really a bitch…and enforced.

it’s funny, endearing and awesome to see your parents not just as your parents, but as people, equally beguiled by the world around them and the circumstances they meet.

as i vicariously share in this new life with them, i look forward to hearing about more discoveries, such as being able to WALK to starbucks, hearing their neighbors have sex for the 4th time that night and actually learning about the city’s hottest new restaurant…before it has time to close.

i only hope they don’t forget wrapped christmas presents are always appreciated and i still need a place to do my laundry.

happy thanksgiving.
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