Health

On being babied — happily

I just got home from a very long trip. After a full day of travel and about 36 hours without sleep, my dad was there to greet me at the airport.

baby

I just got home from a very long trip. After a full day of travel and about 36 hours without sleep, my dad was there to greet me at the airport. He helped with my luggage and slid me into the car, and then took me back to his place where a soft bed was made up for me, where tea was steeping and red wine uncorked, where Chinese leftovers (my favourite) were in the fridge, and where I could sink back into a couch and wait to fall asleep.

There’s really something about being pampered, being taken care being babied by your parents — no matter how old you get, how long you’ve been paying your own bills and living in your own home, and even how many of your own dependents you acquire. (Though, thus far, I have personally only acquired a lightly depressed jade plant.) Hanging out with my parents — specifically at their house — transforms me back to a kid, browsing through the cupboards for cookies, watching cable television and happily distracted from my own responsibilities.

I sometimes forget, in the midst of business with friends and work, with getting pictures framed and stocking up on coffee and remembering to sweep under the bed, just how nice it is to come home. It’s nice to have parents who agitate to see you, and who treat your arrival like it’s really something special. It’s all too easy to invent excuses, to focus on the long bus ride, and to put off coming for visits. I’m guilty of often letting work come first and even using a little fatigue as an excuse not to visit. But it really makes me happy, and feels peaceful, to come home and, once I’m here, I almost always stop to scold myself for not coming more often.

Maybe I’m under the influence of a homesickness that started to creep in after I’d been away for a couple of months. I’m sure it won’t take much longer than 48 hours for me to really start to itch for my own quiet little apartment. But this morning, out of the corner of my eyes, I caught the pill bottles that now line my parents’ kitchen counter and I was reminded that at some point, hopefully in the distant future, my parents and their magic fridge won’t be around. I know it’s easy to let thoughts like linger grimly, but instead it just made me eager to linger, sinking into the couch, catching up over a nice glass of red wine and happy to be home.