A Single Day, Four People, and Four Ways To Get There


It was a wonderful week spent relaxing, spending time with family, and preparing and eating food in New Jersey. For a few days this week, we had our grandparents over, went to a 50th birthday party, had friends from Texas over for a barbecue, and went shopping. We also had ripe blueberries ($1.99 per box!), which we ate in abundance. Watermelon (the least sweet bit closest to the rind is my favorite) and local hot dogs (the best) are some of my favorite summer fruits. (Yes, I am that strange.)

Alas, the fun was short-lived (I had to work during the week, so there were only two weekends), and before we knew it, we were preparing to say our goodbyes:

My mother would spend a few days in Queens with my grandparents before returning to Beijing, my father would fly to Finland to make it to work on Monday, I would board a bus to return to Philadelphia, and Sarah would prepare for yet another round of single suburban life.

Getting ready to leave our old Jersey haunts after waking up in our beds was melancholy after being there for a week. On the morning of our numerous departures, the house resembled a hotel with everyone scrambling to get their belongings together and check out on time:

Dad: “Where’s my passport?”

Me: “Maaaaa, is this my iPhone charger?”

Mom: “Saaarah, does Jake have water?”

Sarah: “Hey, that’s my charger!”

Dad: “Phone, wallet, keys…phone, wallet, keys…….”

The strangeness of our lives is brought into sharp focus on days like this. As my family and I sat around the kitchen table after dinner one night while I was in middle school, my mother joked (“joked”) that she and my dad could relocate to China someday. Sarah and I were always terrified about getting married, believing it would never happen. Isn’t that crazy? But it’s genuinely happened.

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