In a matter of hours, we will lift off in an aeroplane.
Here is a common theme if you know me: woe is me around the holidays, I’m a COD (child of divorce).
My younger brother, Micah, emailed me the other day and the subject line was: no stress no stress no stress no stress no stress no stress no stress no stress no stress no stress no stress no stress no stress. Beyond the fact that I didn’t know if it was subtly directed at me or if it was more a testament to his laid-back love of life, I was mesmerized by how long a gmail subject line could be. I realized that it might be the longest one I’d ever seen.
He wrote no stress because that’s what the holidays can appear to be in my family at first glance. And given that Hollywood banks on the same theme year after year, apparently they can be stressful in your family too.
I will absolutely die of boredom if I go into the details, but a nice way of summing it up may be that my brothers and I are at the point where we basically schedule ourselves between our mom’s and our dad’s houses (one hour apart) using an advanced algorithm developed in conjunction with NASA, trying to come as close as possible to achieving perfect mathematical and emotional equality. The formula, to summarize, takes each person’s flights, divides them by the number of other days of the year that we will have each individually spent time with one of our parents plus percentage of time spent with in-laws, subtracts the number of vehicles available for house commuting, multiplies by a factor index of that particular parent’s present emotional state at prospect of sharing children with ex-spouse (e.g. defensive, victimized, passive aggressive or totally laid back/grateful) and then adds a ratio of one over how much food the parent’s house will contain to the power of what the thermostat will be set at. Each time the equation is run I have to remind myself I’m in my thirties. I am pleased to say that for the upcoming Thanksgiving week, we seem to have worked out an acceptable schedule. If “mmm” means acceptable. Since that’s all my parents usually say when we tell them who is sleeping where when.
There is no place I would rather be, no family I think will be having more fun or laughing harder, no parents who are more welcoming of in-laws and friends, no place where I think I will feel more loved and raised up.