My sister is perched on the back of another recliner. Her hair swallowed in a mass of towel, she's wearing the pj's I brought home for her from Seoul. On her wrist is a blue sweatband with an anteater on it. She wears it for luck so that one day she'll get accepted to her dream college, UCI. I can't believe how grown she is. Whenever I think of her, I think of the clingy 5 year old who was afraid to flush the toilet. Now, she's a young lady. She's spunky, witty, and also a thief. I left a lot of my clothes at home before I left for Korea and apparently she's been, in her own words, "making sure they see some sunlight."
My brother is sitting to the left of me. He's grown so much too. Apparently, he knows everything, is never wrong, and will go above and beyond to make sure you know he's right. My mom said I was the same way when I was his age, I find it hard to believe. Just a minute ago I looked over and he was drinking a Mountain Dew. A few seconds ago, he held the can to my nose after he slyly farted in it. Teenage boys are so disgusting.
It's funny how experience changes your mentality. When I was 18, I couldn't wait to get away from this house and the people in it. Now, I just want to be here with them. Moments like this where I can sit on the couch and just inhabit the same air as my family don't happen that often anymore. As meaningless as it might seem, I truly cherish it. I want to know my family better. I feel like my brother and sister are different people now, well, maybe not different but they're becoming young people. They're starting to form their own ideas about the world and how life works. They have opinions and experience to back it up. It's so amazing to me. I want to know my parents more, to know what kinds of emotions they felt when they were my age.
I love being home. Everything about it shouts peace and relaxation. Although our situation right now is far from that, the fact that we're together makes the biggest problems seem so harmless. I'm so blessed to have this family, as weird and disgusting as they may be at times, well all the time, there's none other like them, and none other that knows me the way they do. I have such an understanding mother, the best mentor in the world. My dad, his words may be few, but the love that pours out of his heart for his family is so immense. The older I get, the less I see them as fierce disciplinarians, but as beautiful friends. When I was at the library today, a cute firecracker of an old lady started up conversation with me. She asked me about my future plans and what I was interested in. We shared a few laughs. As she was leaving, she abruptly turned to look at me and said with a huge grin that revealed her shiny crowns,
"I have one piece of advice I want to give you about growing old."
"What's that?" I asked.
With a bit of a cackle she yelled, "Don't do it! Good luck with your life hunny."
"Good luck with yours too!" I replied.
Although it would be nice to never grow old, I don't think it's so bad. Growing old is better than not growing at all. Although they may be older than me, my parents are still growing and learning just like my siblings and I are. Realizing this has been something special. Regardless of how old we are, we are always learning; learning from each other. It's a beautiful thing.
Here's to family, and growing with the people you love. Let's cherish the time we have.