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The Unexpected Perk of Staying with Your Parents

todayJune 22, 2022 19 2

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By Celeste Parler
Web Content Contributor

If you aren’t working a summer job in San Marcos or taking in-person summer classes, then chances are that you are reading this from your hometown. It’s something students don’t typically anticipate with excitement. And I can’t blame anyone for not liking moving back in with your parents for the summer. The reason may not have anything to do with your parents. Most of my friends hate their hometowns because there’s nothing for college students to do and walking places is an impossibility.

By no means am I trying to defend my hometown and its “unique attractions” like the outlet mall. The suburban neighborhood where I am from is nothing special or inherently exciting. But I don’t come back for the city itself. I come to see my family and occasionally for a special event I can’t miss.

For part of the summer, I will be staying with my parents and my three teenage siblings. Every time I drive up to my house my younger siblings come out to greet me with screaming and hugging. They will then proceed to bring my luggage in while teasing me and asking me about games we can play together. We used to never get this excited to see each other, but I imagine the time we’ve spent apart has brought us closer when we are together.

In high school, everyone I talked to about my family was shocked at how little the four of us interacted. I could go days at a time not talking or texting with any of my siblings. This was also before they all had a phone to text on. I was also constantly busy between extracurricular activities and homework that I barely had time to sleep, let alone spend time with my sisters and brother.

In every way, the pandemic flipped my world upside down, including how much time I spent with my family. Whenever my siblings and I weren’t in online classes, we would be sitting in the living room talking or playing board games. We also began taking nightly walks around the neighborhood that my family continues today.

After spending so much time with my siblings at the beginning of the pandemic, it was harder than I imagined saying goodbye when I first moved out. I gave each of them a hug, which we don’t usually do, and they stood in the front yard waving as my dad drove me away. In the chaos that was my first year of college, I would forget to call my parents to let them know how I was doing. If my parents felt like they were thrown out of the loop, surely my siblings did too.

Last Christmas was the first break from college I prioritized spending time with my siblings doing what they enjoyed. I watched a lot of gaming YouTube videos and looked at every meme and cat picture they sent me. I also went to some events with their youth group as a chaperone. They all shared with me the new things they were interested in and pretended to be interested in my personal life.

An outdoor courtyard in a shopping center with string lights and a large square tile fountain at night. Three teenagers are standing and looking into the fountain with their backs to the camera. A young woman to the right of the three teenagers looks into the camera with a smirk and her arms crossed.
I spent my Christmas break with my two sisters and my brother going to the movies and taking photos.

As grateful as my parents are to see us together as a family again, I know they are less than impressed with how we show our love for each other. Anyone who knows me knows I am not afraid to say it like it is, and my siblings are not afraid to be blunt in the way they tease me. Almost every day I hear from my youngest sister that I should go back to San Marcos so she doesn’t have to deal with me.

But don’t let that fool you, I’m glad to see my siblings again this summer. And despite the way my siblings can be cruel to me, I know my presence has a big impact on them. My mom told me that when I’m home, my siblings become more hyper and energetic than if I wasn’t around. I can’t say that staying or working in my hometown is my favorite part of summer. But what I can look forward to every summer break or an off-hand weekend is spending quality time with my siblings, teasing and all.

Written by: ktsw899

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