Monday, June 11, 2007

Onward Christian Soldiers of Misfortune

My parents flew home last Tuesday. (I started this post on the day they left, but am just getting around to posting it now.) It was a nice visit, and I even miss having them around a little.

My mother will prattle on about nothing when given the chance. My dad pipes up with questions or remembered stories when we are alone. On the drive to the airport, they both ride mute like stones. It’s both creepy and kind of nice.

Bump and I are not as religious as they would like us to be, and they use opportunities like being trapped in a car to broach subjects like that. Religion and our lack of it, whether or not particular people are gay, and when we are moving back to Minnesota are all good silence-fillers for my parents. Bump has become adept at avoiding these situations, but I can’t seem to escape them.

I’m sure they don’t speak on the way to the airport because they are sad. They are anxious to be home, but never quite ready to leave. They are returning to the familiar and comfortable, but miss their grandchildren (and Bump and me, but to a much lesser extent) terribly. They much prefer when we visit them because they don’t deal with new experiences very well. Plus, something always seems to go slightly wrong when they visit.

It’s not that they are beacons of disaster, there’s just always. . . something. It’s usually not even their fault. They were staying at Aunt Bob’s this visit, and on their first night, they couldn’t get into the house. Turns out the keyring I had given them didn’t have the key to Aunt Bob’s house on it. Later one of the dryers was broken when Mom tried to use it. These types of episodes overwhelm them.

Last visit, one of the washers broke while Mom was using it. Mom and Dad tried to gas up Bump’s car but couldn’t get the pumps to work. Oh, and there was the time Aunt Bob’s water heater broke.

I think my parents are a little unlucky, but also have trouble dealing with even the tiniest of hiccups. Their world at home is small and predictable, and they like it that way.

They just wish their only grandchildren lived closer.


Em said...

It really is too bad for your parents that seemingly *every* time they visit they not only have to content with the strangeness of being away from home but always the added stress of stuff breaking on them. I can sympathize, to a certain extent.

At least they weren't visiting when the main plumbing line went down -- they would never have recovered!

And sadly, they may never quite recover from the physical distance between themselves and their grandkids, but what can you do but try to have them visit and tell Lumpyhead and Lula about them. I think even your parents know you aren't moving back to MN any time soon.

Jill said...

I love the stories about your Minnesota parents. I can totally picture them from your descriptions. Unintentionally funny and sweet at the same time.