I'm going home for a visit soon, for the first time in a while. Part of me is really looking forward to it--I miss my home, and the wide-open spaces, and the grass and trees and fresh air. I miss the friendliness of my home community, where I grew up and spent my formative years. As tiny as it is (there aren't exactly that many Jews in Montana, you know), I really love how all of the families are so welcoming and accepting, of both each other and newcomers. There's a closeness there that I don't feel in a lot of larger communities that I've been in, and I miss it when I'm away.
Still...there are drawbacks. If it was all rosy and perfect, I'd be living there--my parents would surely let me live at home for free, and I wouldn't be wearing myself into the ground working at a job that I thoroughly dislike just to be able to pay for basic necessities. First of all, not only is there nothing to do, there's no one to do nothing WITH. It is far more important to me to have friends around than to have something to do. Even in the biggest of cities there is never anything to do, but at least there are other people around so that you have friends to hang out with and complain together that there's nothing to do. I don't have friends in Montana, I never really had friends in Montana, and even if I wanted to have friends in Montana, there really isn't anyone around to befriend. Even Sibs aren't around for company--they're all away at school, and our schedules rarely coincide such that we can all be home at the same time together.
But really, that's a side issue. I've dealt with boredom before, and if nothing else, I can spend a lot of time on the phone and online. Anyhow, I won't be there for very long, so there probably won't be any time to get bored anyway.
No, really what I'm less excited about is what I'm not-so-excited about every time I go home: The Parents. Or, more specifically, The Mother. Pa and I get along pretty well, and in general I can talk to him about more stuff than I can with my mother. He's pretty easygoing, and he generally understands my various frustrations with Ma. Ma, on the other hand...yeah. Our relationship (or lack thereof) has gone through varying degrees of healthiness and happiness (I repeat, or lack thereof). Sometimes there's a truce, sometimes it's actually pretty decent, and sometimes it's just downright awful. The problem is, I never know from one visit to the next how it's going to be, and I always get this sense of dread before I see them, wondering if it's going to go well, and when I leave I'll still be in one piece emotionally, or if I'll leave and be a total basket case, having lost whatever tenuous grip on happiness and sanity that I had before I came.
Of late, thank G-d, my trips have been fairly infrequent and kept short when they did occur; perhaps, for that reason, they have gone better than they did in the past. I haven't had a really bad trip home in a while, and for that I'm very thankful. But I'm always bothered by this niggling fear that maybe this time will be the time when that all goes down the drain.