When Audrey and I were younger, even though we each had our own rooms, we preferred to sleep together on the pull-out couch in our parents’ bedroom. We call it the pull-out-couch era.
I don’t remember when or why it started – or even when or why it ended. I was probably around 9 or 10 years old, and Audrey was 11 or 12. We were young enough that we were in bed and fast asleep by the time our parents came upstairs for the night.
We would just fall asleep talking to each other about sister stuff. We would giggle, tease each other, talk through any problems we were having. I remember that time fondly.
I also remember that during our sisterly discussions, we would hear our parents watching televsion downstairs. Their bedroom (the one we were sleeping in) was directly above the family room, so we could hear the muffled sound of the shows they were watching.
And if they were watching a sitcom, we could always hear our dad’s laugh.
That’s one of my favorite memories about the pull-out-couch era. It was always very comforting, listening to my dad’s distinct, loud, genuine laugh. I guess since he’s usually the one who makes everyone around him laugh, hearing him thoroughly enjoy someone else’s comedic genius just gave me a good feeling.
It’s something I hadn’t thought about much until recently.
It’s interesting, during this current living-back-at-home era, the things I recall from living at home all those years ago.
Usually at night, my parents and I will watch television together. They have gotten me hooked on American Idol. I’ve returned the favor by introducing them to the guilty pleasure that is The Real Housewives of NYC. There are a few shows the three of us just can’t miss – even if it means they have to get DVR’d so we can watch them together later: The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men and 30 Rock.
A few weeks ago we were all sitting in the family room watching Two and a Half Men. During one particularly funny scene, I was instantly taken back to those nights during the pull-out-couch era when my dad let out one of his laughs: distinct, loud, genuine.
It took me back to when Audrey and I would lie in bed and laugh at our dad laughing, wondering what was so funny downstairs on the television.
It gave me a good feeling.
While there are times that this living-back-at-home era can have its tougher moments (not because spending time with my parents is tough – that’s the best part, actually – it’s just that divorce isn’t, you know, fun), it’s the lighter moments, the ones that take me back to the wonderful eras of my past, that make it a little easier.