It’s Different Without Them

My parents taking a holiday without my siblings and I has been one of the weirdest experiences for me.

At 21, I am the eldest of four and possibly the most put off (save for my youngest sister) by them holidaying while we are at home. To celebrate their 23rd wedding anniversary, my parents decided to take a week long trip to Adelaide, South Australia. This is the second of their “No Children” holidays since I was born. The last time they took a holiday, just the two of them, was their 10th wedding anniversary, and my siblings and I stayed with my grandmother for the four days.

Now that we are older and capable of looking after ourselves, Mum and Dad decided they could do it again. My youngest sister who is still in school, has stayed at a friends house the past few nights as the rest of us don’t usually arrive home until after 5:30pm and I feel as though that has only made it stranger. I do feel as though that has probably helped her not to miss Mum and Dad too much as she is distracted by her friend and the family she is staying with.

Since coming back from the USA, I have settled back in and become re-accustomed to having Mum or Dad (if not both) home a majority of the time. I’ve grown used to coming home to Mum cooking dinner and Dad watching TV while he folds the clothes. I’ve enjoyed there always being one or the other to talk to about my life and how I’m feeling each day. I’m not used to missing them. I missed them every day while I was in the US for a year, and it was difficult. Since coming back, I haven’t had to miss them.

They flew out to Adelaide on Friday morning, so I last saw them as I was leaving for work on Friday. I have messaged them daily (and they’ve responded). I’ve spoken to them a few times on the phone – the last time being as I arrived at work this morning. I still however, haven’t been able to shake the feeling of missing them. Without them here I’ve noticed various things: how reclusive (and so much like myself at that age) my brother is, how my 19yo sister really does have zero care factor and is all about her social life, how much I appreciate Miss 15 and her relatively undamaged, refreshing outlook on life. But most of all, I’ve noticed how important to me it is to have my parents around.

With them gone, it feels as though there is so little control and order in our household. Of the five nights they’ve been gone so far, Miss 19 has been out for four of them, including Saturday night when she woke me up at 1am (after we had only gone to bed at 12) to ask me if she should drive to Leichardt (approximately 40mins away) to pick up three of her drunken friends. I told her that it was ultimately her decision, however if it were me I would be calling them a cab. Needless to say she decided to go and get them, so I stayed awake to wait for her to come home. We estimated a 2:30am return. It was 3am when I received a text from Miss 19 to say she was going to stay at LW’s place for the night because she was too tired to make the final 15minute trip home. I was absolutely fuming that I’d been woken up, and then stayed up waiting and worrying about her return, only to be told it wasn’t necessary. The aspect that irritated me most was the fact that she – and she told me this to my face – would not have picked them up if Mum and Dad were home because she knows they wouldn’t approve. I was (I believe rightfully so) irate.

I cannot wait until my parents get back from this trip – although they do deserve it and I’m glad they’ve done it – and things go back to a relative normal. I need to be able to see them regularly, and speak with them daily, especially with everything going on at the moment. There are so many things I haven’t spoken with them about yet because it has all happened in the week leading up to the holiday, or while they’ve been away.

I miss them and I love them and I cannot wait until I see them tomorrow evening.

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