Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Holiday Pinata

I like order. I especially like it when it comes to the holidays. Tradition trumps chaos as a theme of comfort to me during this season.

I think that’s why singing the 12 days of Christmas song is so much fun. I know what comes next and I enjoy putting things in their perfect rightful order. Partridges before Turtle Doves and so on.

Yet I hate order. Especially when it comes to my siblings. As the youngest of five, order means I will forever be the baby. Always the one that was last to do anything, always the one who needs constant advice and care from the olders. Or so they think.

Despite the fact that I am 41, a mom, a wife and responsible grown up, the minute I return to my hometown, I somehow morph back to being seen as the baby. For the moment, I’ll call it “birth order disorder” to sound cool.

I love going home – there is a comfort in returning to my youth and remembering all the places and spaces of those days. Yet the recycled youth trips send me returning to my most awkward days.

It’s probably because my siblings are there to remind me of every stupid mistake I ever made, like the time I set the house on fire (not my fault), putting the cat in the dryer (total accident) and driving the car into ditches (bad tires). Despite the fact that I should be able to enjoy the emotional pinata of joking – the truth remains that pinata parties are only fun for the whackers, not the piñata.

So as I return to my current home, relief sets in as I leave all the inadequate days and times behind. I return to the comfort of the life I have now, despite my past. My perfect order – no piñatas allowed.