My brother and I are back at school. We decided to come back a day earlier than we absolutely had to in order not to have to fight the very worst of horrendous traffic, which we would have faced had we postponed our trip back until Sunday. It's technically already Sunday now, though I never consider a day to have ended and a new one to have begun until I go to bed and get up, even if it's only for a few hours that I rest. On those lovely days when I have so much studying to do that I never actually make it to bed, I arbitrarily look out the window at some point and see that the sun has risen, and I officially declare tomorrow to have happened. Isn't it delightful to have such control over one's environment as to decide if and when a new day is to start? This power exists, I concede, solely in my own mind. While I'm perhaps a tad delusional, I have at least a tenuous grasp on reality.
The trip home served as a sweet reminder that I genuinely love and like my parents. They're good people. Our relationships are far from conflict-free. My parents and I have always had disagreements, and Matthew's and my newly-attained adult status has in many ways only intensified this. The things about which we disagree, however, are just that -- things, which money can buy. We're not Trumps or Gateses, financially or otherwise, but we have enough money to pay for anything we really need. My parents (usually my mom, though neither is my dad shy about making his opinion known) may at times be a bit insistent about being heard when Matthew or I have decisions in this regard to make, but in the end, the decisions are made by whomever has the right to make the decisions, and we go back to the people we were before any disagreement interjected itself into our respective relationships. I acknowledge that it cannot be easy to bring children into the world and to be responsible in every way for them for eighteen years or so, only to cede that responsibility and everything that goes with it to those children. It's uncharted territory for all of us that we're navigating.
This week marks a milestone for my brother and for me. We turn twenty-one one Wednesday. I plan to celebrate it by getting just a bit bombed. I have class the next morning, and I have a final exam three days after the big day itself, so just how deeply into debauchery I can afford to sink is greatly limited by the rather poor timing of everything. My mother could have planned the whole labor and delivery thing a bit more considerately.
On the other hand, had Matthew and I been born six hours later than we were, we would have missed California's cutoff age for kindergarten entrance for the year. We finished school a year early in addition to narrowly squeaking past the cutoff date. This happened when we were promoted mid-year from seventh to eighth grade. There are probably very few circumstances under which any school system would have allowed my brother and me to be advanced two school years ahead of our chronological placement. It was arguably a bit crazy even to bump us up a single year when we were already the youngest children in the class. Regardless, had my mother dragged out the labor process any longer, right now we would presumably just be wrapping up our first quarter of medical school. First quarter now seems like half a lifetime ago. I'm glad it's in my past even if such means the I'll need to limit the magnitude of my twenty-first birthday drunken revelry in the name of academic sanity.
Up to this point, the most alcohol I've ever consumed at a time is when I drank one-and-one-half bottles of Guinness in order to deal with writing a particularly difficult paper. Those one-and-one-half bottles of Guinness gave me a noticeable buzz. This time I'm going for the ever elusive midpoint between buzzed and wasted. Here's to hoping I find that perfect stage of almost drunk.
P.S. If anyone who reads this knows Senator Marco Rubio and happens to run into him before Wednesday night, please tell him that he's invited to my birthday party. I'm not sure exactly where it will be held except that I know it will be in a bar somewhere around here. For the first time in my life, I will be allowed into a bar. Miracles occasionally happen.
I may need someone to carry me home on Wednesday night.