I’m Happy to Be Home.
Shane and I had “special time” together one evening. I gave him choices of things to do, and he picked dinner and dessert (at separate restaurants) and two half-hour videos at home. It was a wild evening.
On our way home after dessert, Shane said, “I want to go to King’s Dominion.”
After all the fun we’d just had – although technically, it wasn’t amusement-park standard fun – I felt a bit … kicked. As if what we’d done wasn’t enough, and he was already projecting himself into a future, more-fun place.
It was an innocent comment, really. But I claimed that it was a federal offense.
“We just had a nice time, and you picked both the restaurants. We’ve done whatever you wanted to do. And when you said that about King’s Dominion, it made me feel like what we did just wasn’t enough.”
Even as I said it, I remembered.
For years and years and years, I did exactly the same thing to my parents. We would be coming home from a particularly delightful time – sled riding, perhaps, or coming home from a week at the beach. And I would pipe up from the backseat – something like, “I wish we could go to Australia.”
I don’t know if my parents remember this. But I remember thinking, this good thing is over and now I have nothing in the world left to excite me.
I have always had a tendency to depend on WAY TOO MUCH – externally – to “excite me.” I’ve always deemed something “out there” to be the answer – something far away, something just out of my reach – that would finally “make me” happy.
This was a particular problem with vacations. I loved vacations so much, I never wanted to leave. I always wanted to live wherever I went on vacation – so I would occasionally run away the night before we left. When I got older, I started fights with my vacation partner(s) the night before we were planning to leave, so as to “ruin” the vacation and (I thought) not be as sad to leave.
I nearly lost my boyfriend (now husband) after an especially good trip to Jamaica. We got into a fight so vicious, over something I can no longer recall, that I thought we might not even fly home on the same plane.
Then, one day about 35 years after it started, it stopped. I came home from a vacation and said the oddest thing.
I said, “I’m happy to be home.”
I can’t remember which vacation inspired this – but it wasn’t a bad one. I was just happier to be back home than I was to be on vacation. I think I was finally happy enough with my own real life that I prefered it to a temporary fantasy world. I know that I was at least in my thirties by then.
So I apologized to Shane since – once again – my issues caused an inappropriate reaction to his comment.
And then I said a little prayer that Shane would look inside himself more often, where true happiness is found.