Confessions of a Middle Child

So. Have you ever contemplated your own selfishness? Well I did. Today to be exact. I contemplated my selfishness and immaturity that was raging inside me while I was trying to remain the humble gracious daughter I should be. With out going into too much detail, my parents bought a huge house in Cedar Hills Utah. They get not only their GIANT master bedroom, but they are each taking a bedroom for a private study as well. My brother is getting practically the whole basement . . . and I? I get either what they call the "guest bedroom where Michelle (my older sister and her family), James, and Keegan will stay when they visit", or "The fun room where we’ll put a pool table and stuff when you’re done with it". Now… call me immature, but I feel like I’m being pushed out. Older sister with her cute family who lives in a different state gets priority over me. Little brother who will still live there for years gets priority over me (and rightly so). But really. Yes I go to college and will be there most of the time…But I still want a home! I don’t want to feel like I’m visiting my family when I’m home for breaks. I want to go HOME! Is it so much to ask that I get my own room, called "Kylie’s room"?
Another point of my selfishness: Christmas.
So since seeing all the money my parents have been spending on the house and things to go in the house, I’ve pretty much accepted that I’m going to have no Christmas. Ever since they decided to pay for my college I get no Christmas. Which is fine. That’s a fair trade off I suppose. But then my mother had to come out and say that I wasn’t getting anything because they pay for tuition and my phone bill. Now, even though I had accepted this in my mind, having my mother just confirm it so blatantly did something to me inside. Defiance. For some reason I wasn’t ok with it all of the sudden. I was totally bugged. It could have been that she started it off with asking me if there was anything that I wanted, even though she would have shut it down anyway. Or it could have been that she ended with, "good, just wanted to make sure you were ok with that", when it wouldn’t have mattered if I wasn’t ok with that. Or it could have been somewhere in the middle when she said I was getting a house anyway, when really I was barley getting a room! But anyway, it is the way it is, and now I have a new dilemma that I need help with.
I thought about going out and buying myself some stuff I really want and having my mother just wrap it. But then that would just be lame anyway. So then I thought about giving my mother money to spend on me. Again lame, but better because I’d still be surprised. So my last thought (and most mature and unselfish) would be to spend that money on my parents (who PS are giving themselves thousands of dollars worth of new furnature etc this season). But the problem with that is that my mother is the hardest person to buy things for. I don’t care who you know. She IS. Never says things she wants, hates having money spent on her, but the things that I know she might want happen to be expensive (like paintings), and even those types of things are risky to buy someone without their opinion. So. Any suggestions? I NEED HELP! (But I really do sound more desprate than I really am...)


Matthew R. Hall, Esq. said...

It's hard going back to LA because it's only home for brief moments. The rest of the time, it's a place a visit between semesters and sometimes during. Today I was driving fast along Pacific Coast Highway (PCH for locals,) which is a highway that runs along the California cost all the way from top to bottom (not explained to locals.) My favorite place in the world is on a beach off PCH. I was speeding past that beach and it was raining so the waves were churning roughly and green. I was home then for a moment.

You're a good person--I'd do whatever I felt like and trust that my instincts are inherently okay. Wish I had good advice for you.

Emily Goodsell said...

If your mom doesn't like people spending money on her, then don't spend money on her. Keep your money and create something for her. Make her a calendar with pictures of your fam, have your family members all write her a letter, make her a coupon book that offers your services to her, help her get caught up with her picture books/scrapbooks, etc. It's a win-win. You save your money, and she gets something she can save, too. Good luck.

Dan said...

You could always paint her a picture.

Em & Ev said...

My mom is hard to buy for too since she doesn't like anyone to spend money on her. But last year the kids in our family wrote down our favorite family memories and gave the list to her on Christmas, and she loved it. That's another win-win. Good luck.

Emily Goodsell said...

Or you could always have Dan paint you a picture to give her.

Or, Dan, you could paint a picture for me for Christmas. It can whatever you want to paint. I'll accept. You owe me.

Anonymous said...

Kylie, that's hard. I can kind of relate. My parents recently bought a house significantly larger than their previous one while I was away to college. I went home to 'visit' and slept on the floor in a sleeping bag (eventhough my brother has TWO rooms ( a bed in each)--he has his stuff in both rooms, and sleeps in whichever he feels like). It was a little disconcerting.

Things change, and it's hard. I have mixed feelings about this--Home should always be home, but it won't always be the same. I find the more I'm home the less I feel at home--like I need to keep my life in progression mode and eventually make my OWN home. I don't want to be an adult just yet, but I can feel it coming regardless of my stubborn stalling techniques.

I don't know if I have great advice. I like the homemade gift idea. (One time I decorated blank stockings with crafty little trinkets and then filled them with little things my parents liked. (Favorite candy bar, movie certificate, golf balls, a note.)

As for the home, whichever room you stay in, my suggestion is to make it yours while it's yours.

And not so related to this post, but still important, is my suggestion to make memories and keep up traditions in this new house. It's enough to not have a place when you're back from college, but to have a new house is like empty beauty. If you don't fill it with what you've loved in the past, and with what you've done in your old house, it'll may always be this huge house in Cedar City you never call your own.

Sky said...

Kylie, I love this honest writing. You amaze me, since I never hear anything negative out of your mouth at work, Miss Namby Pamby.
Thomas Woolf said, "You can never go home again." I think he's right, though it's harder to be in college and go home to find they gave your room away to the cat, or like you, go home to no room.
I really like the advice all gave, especially EmPo's. Plus, while you make your mom's stuff, your sad feelings will evaporate. Good luck. When I come down between Christmas and New Years, maybe I'd better take you to lunch, and we can play.

Anonymous said...

And I meant Cedar Hills, not City; sorry. : )

iBo said...

Ok Kylie, i feel i can really sympathise with you on the first half of your post. Remember how I'm the only child? When i first left for college, my parents made me pack all my stuff and move it into the guest room. For the last month before i left for college I was in the guest room.

When i came back I came back to the gust room. No more nice basement room. Then I went on my mission, and right before i left i was kicked OUT of the guest room and into the living room. I'm the only son. I should at least have a room to put my stuff in. Nope. I had to pack everything and put it in boxes and spend the last month of my non mission life in the living room.

Now when I come home to visit, I get the guest room. I havent really had a room of my own here in my own house for a while. I mean its ok, because they rent out the rooms to homestay students and stuff but...yeah i totally understand how you feel. When i visit my family it kind of emphasizes that I'm not really a part of this world anymore. I've gone and left and I don't belong to my parents anymore. And all because I don't have a room anymore.

To add to that, when Chan told me that he was going up to Olympia Washington for thanksgiving and said that I could possibly bum a ride with him to that part of the world I told my parents to bounce the idea of me going home for Thanksgiving. The response? "Don't come home! It's not worth it! you'll be home in 12 days anyway."

My own mother told me not to come home for thanksgiving. Ok so theres a practical aspect to it but still!

Anyway Kylie i think we should start a club.

Chan said...

My parents have moved into a smaller house since I've been gone.
I am comfortably homeless.

I think my green bag is my "room" as much as anything. That's were I usually have my scriptures and my journals and my Pen and whatever book(s) I'm reading. And there's an odd assortment of junk in the front pocket. I can feel comfortable most places if I have those things.

If I were your mom, I think I'd want a Billy Bass for Christmas. I love those things. They're so tasteful. "Take me to the riiiiiveeeeerr!"

You could write something for your parents.

Ky ky said...

Ok, so what you're telling me to do is to make a calader, a thing full of notes, a services coupon book, paint her a picture, have Dan paint her a picture,give her movie tickets, ... Ok I think that's all. Yeah, honestly those are all good ideas :)You guys win! I'll think about them and decide. (or maybe I'll put them all in a hat and draw one out.)
Sister Morgan- My family is staying in Salt Lake with my grandparents until we can move in, but we are moving to Cedar Hills (where Matty is from actually). And I'd LOVE to go out to lunch or play when you come down.If you don't want to look for my number it's: 360-281-8846 (it is safe to put my number on this blog right? some weirdo isn't going to call me... Matt...Nate...Chan.. HA ha jk.
Thanks everyone, now I don't feel like the only homeless person in the world. That makes things better. And I agree with Sister Morgan, who is the anonymous person?? I want to start that club :)

Sarachel said...

Can I be in the club? I don't have a room either. Not even a guest room. I stay in my sister's room in her extra bed when I come home. She used to have 2 extra beds for sleepovers, etc. Now she just has one, and I sleep in it when I visit.

iBo said...

wow so how many of us exactly have been displaced?

Julie M said...

What is a Billy Bass? (Am I displaying my ignorance by not knowing that?)
We are all displaced, friends. Every last one of us.
When I was about to leave for college, I didn't feel like home was my home anymore. I didn't feel like I belonged there. It was almost as if I had outgrown my room like a pair of pajama pants that hits your shins instead of your ankles. It leaves you awkward and uncomfortably cold.
When I was at college, I didn't feel like I was home either. So, obviously, I thought that my home was my parents house--where I came from. But wait, wasn't that the place that I had just "outgrown?" College is a transient place of living. You weave in and out of classes, apartments, student wards faster than the salmon weave upstream in Alaska.
Then I got married and thought for sure that I was no longer displaced, for I would establish my own home. But guess what? That didn't really work either. I was homesick for the first full year of marriage. But homesick for what? The swimming salmon or the puny pjs?
The fact of the matter is, the only I place I feel at home is in the temple or with the spirit.
I have a friend in my ward right now who just barely moved from Russia. Her entire life is upside down. She has no semblance of placement. But one time when I was talking with her, she told me that she is not lonely, she is not sad, she is alive and happy because the gospel is the same everywhere. "Everywhere I can feel the Spirit of God," she says. When she feels the Spirit, she is home.
When we feel the Spirit, we are home. "Not all those who wander are lost." We just haven't gotten to where we are really going.

Katie said...

Hey Julie, I don't know you but thanks for your comment. I like the analogies. This is a good realization for me, because...I get to start my mission papers now, and won't be home for a year and a half. I'll try to remember this.

Also, you know what's neat? Christ didn't have a home, either, right? Wasn't he always traveling, and taken in by others? (That is, when he grew older.)

Ky ky said...

Sara, you're invited to the club :)...Ok I guess everyone is since we just established that everyone is homeless. We'll call it... the writing center! he he he he...The Writing Center Bumbs. (Just kidding Sister Morgan!)
And I want to know what a Billy Pass is too.

Ky ky said...

Oh and this is basically for Julie: That was the best analogy I've heard. I'm going to call it "The Parable of the Pajamas" and remember it forever. Everything you said was truth. (and this is for everyone)I just remembered what I had discovered at the end of my first blood essay: "You're not meant to feel at home on earth, you're meant to feel at home with me." Heavenly Father gave me the answer like a year ago. No matter where we are, as long as we have the spirit with us and our relationship with God, we can feel at home.
It's just so hard to...remember sometimes.

Matthew R. Hall, Esq. said...

Since I left on my mission, I've described myself as a "vagabond and a wanderer without a home." That home feeling--the sense of security and familiarity and just goodness--will graze my soul for brief moments but never last. The only place on earth that feels like home for me anymore is the temple. Every temple. That's the place of consistency where I feel like I can finally rest from my cares.

I think it's just part of life, like you said about not being meant to feel at home away from God.

As far as the room goes, who cares? I don't mean to trivialize what's important to you, but you're only living there for three weeks, right? You've shared a room for the last few months--a room to yourself in your parent's house when you don't live there anymore and when you have younger siblings is a pretty good thing, I think. It's just life and time and growing up and that entire mess of experience.

Crystal said...

Apparently I'm not as unselfish as the rest of you, because I've been stubbornly clinging to my room for several years. I shamelessly guilt-trip my mother whenever necessary.

I had more to say, but Julie already said it.

PS - Sis. Morgan, I was strongly tempted to post this anonymously, just to see what you'd say.

Ky ky said...

Ok Matt. Yes I do see, from this whole conversation, that becoming roomless is part of growing up. But excuse me for not knowing that before hand. I've never grown up before, and I don't think I've had a conversation about it quite as extensive as this one before. But now I know and I'm ready to get over myself.
But I'm proud of Crystal, though, who seems to be the only one who managed to keep a room out of all of us. Good work :)

Ky ky said...

Oh and it wont be just three weeks. There is a whole summer to concider. I'm pretty sure even YOU'D want a room if you were staying there for five months.

Sarachel said...

So I guess I'm a little behind in reading comments, but Julie, I think you've got it exactly right when you said "homesick for what? The swimming salmon or the puny pjs?" Thanks for the analogy.