Next week I'm going North to the NYC area and staying with my brother for a few days. This is not at all unusual, I did the same thing last October. What is unusual is that for the first time in 4 years, when I'm traveling to visit friends who live near my parents, I've told my parents that I'm going to be there. And we are going to meet up while I'm there.
See right around 4 years ago I visited the house I grew up in for the last time. My parents had their traditional memorial day bbq for family "spring birthdays" that they have thrown since I was a kid (since my birthday is May 31st which is always right around Memorial Day and my grandfather's is the day before and I have like 3 cousins born within the first week of June). I had just moved in with B about 2 months earlier, and it was WEIRD to go visit my parents house without B, knowing that he isn't invited to their house. Which he still has never been. And my parents knew about B and knew we were living together, but wouldn't talk about it directly, other than when my mom was packing up some leftovers and made some snarky comment about sharing them with the people I was living with or something.
So I decided then that I would not be coming back to visit until my parents started getting along with B, because my loyalties had shifted to him versus them. After that I visited the area I grew up in several more times, to go to friends' various parties and gatherings and such and to visit my non religious brother. But I never told my parents I was visiting, and I didn't hang out with them while I was there.
Well, this time I told my parents I'm coming, and they are going to come visit me at my brother's apartment a week from saturday on motzei shabbat (after the sabbath is over). B won't be with me on this trip, but since they came to visit us in our house in January, I feel like it's ok to visit with them again. My mom emailed me on my birthday and we've been emailing back and forth a few times since then, and I arranged this meeting.
Also while I'm in the NYC area I'm going to be meeting up with a whole bunch of OTD people, including one group of OTDers I grew up with, and another group that I've met through blogging and the internet. I'm excited to meet some of y'all and see a bunch of you who I've met before!
On a sadder note, in that blog post I link to above I talk about how my mom gave me her Ray Bradbury collection that day around 4 years ago, the last time I visited my childhood home. Ray Bradbury was one of my favorite authors growing up - my mom had a huge collection of most of his books prior the 1990s, I was a HUGE reader as a child and loved those books, and I read every one of those books over and over again, maybe 5-6 times each as a kid. And I read most of them again when I got that collection 3 years ago. If you haven't read anything other than Fahrenheit 451 I highly recommend going out and reading some of his short stories- there's a good collection of 100 of his best short stories that I bought before my mom gave me HER collection. He is an amazing writer, and like all good short story writers, his stories always leave you with something to think about, about life, or the world. Ray Bradbury died yesterday and the world is a little darker because of it.