Sunday Dinner

Each and every Sunday growing up, my family would pack into the car and head into Brooklyn.  Each and every Sunday, we would leave later than we were supposed to...stop at the delicious bakery for pastries...and sit in Sunday traffic.  Each and every Sunday my parents discussed how they would blame traffic for us being late...

Each and every Sunday, we went to Grandma and Grandpa's house.  

Being at my grandparents wasn't particularly fun.  Yes my older cousin was there but we were POLAR opposites.  She was the tom-boy who played sports...I was the girl in the skirts who didn't like to be dirty.  There was never ANY good TV on....as a matter of fact..nothing will give me chills faster now than the theme of MASH! 

The adults always sat around laughing, while us kids were trying to fend for ourselves trying to find something to do.  We played cards and bounced a blue ball in the hall at each other for what felt like HOURS!  We would sit on the stoop...anything just to keep busy...anything to waste the time to dinner...

On the way home, I remember having to listen to 70's disco flashback night and thinking that I wanted to rip my ears off my head.  My mom often had to stop at the deli and I remember a faint fragrance of bologna and ham as she purchased the meat for our sandwiches for the school week. 

As a child, Sunday's at Grandma's were dreaded.

When I decided that I was moving away for college, I wanted to go far.  I knew if I didn't leave NY then...I wouldn't and at 18, I felt the need to do something BIGGER.  Our Sunday dinners had ended a year before when my grandparents decided to move to Arizona.  I decided to go with them.  I attended college and was fortunate enough to live with my grandparents.  It was like Sunday dinner every night...except my parents were missing, my siblings were missing, my aunt and uncle and my cousin were all missing. 

Two years later, my parents made the big jump and joined us in Arizona with my sister and brother.  We were basically all together again.  I was able to respect my family now as a young adult, not view them as an embarrassing burden to a teenager. I came to LOVE going to my grandparents house....I enjoyed the conversation I had with them over the table as we talked about anything and everything.  I often chose this as my Saturday night...I still wouldn't have it ANY other way. 

When my husband and I finally got married, I had to move to San Diego to be with him.  I once again had to leave my family..with hopes of starting my own.  My husband and I, both native New Yorkers who had Sunday dinner each and every weekend, found out pretty quickly raising children out West wasn't for us.  We met lots of wonderful people but with most people, we found our values were different.  It's hard to explain.  I am not saying in ANY way that our values are better or worse....they were just different.  Something we both found uncomfortable. 

We knew we wanted to raise our family back East.  The opportunity came to move back and we JUMPED on it! We now have Sweet Pea and we are doing everything we wanted to.......

......except Sunday dinner at Grandma and Grandpa's. 

All of Sweet Pea's immediate family lives in different states.  Arizona and Florida to be exact.  With each day that passes, and as she begins to learn and explore new things, my heart hurts.  I find myself trying to explain to my mother in words the cute things she does.  I always try to get a picture in time or a video but it doesn't always work. 

What hurts my heart the most....Sweet Pea will not know those Sunday dinners. 

At 18 years old, I thought I had it all figured out.  I was getting away.  Spreading my wings.  I figured I knew where I was going....

and today I realize, I only ever wanted to be home!