Spring was always my favorite time of year. There were so many new possibilities as the weather started to warm up. The leaves and the flowers finally started showing their true colors and I always felt like I was able to shed the extra layer of skin I grew over the long, dark winter. I hated being cooped up inside and with my parents away most of the time, I often used my time to babysit. I didn’t mind babysitting due to it always gave me the excuse to try new experiences. A new park was opening? Let’s go play. A new hiking trail? Let’s take the dog for a new walk.
Babysitting also gave me the opportunity to save the money I desperately needed to move out of my parents home. I often wondered if I had been a mistake because they spent such little time around me or encouraging me. I was used to them not coming to my school recitals or my soccer games, but I knew I would be happier if I was on my own. Though they did not attend most, if not all, of my extracurricular events, my parents were weirdly obsessive about what I did online. I wasn’t allowed a computer (though I kept one in the locker at school because I had bought it with my babysitting money) and my room was searched on a regular basis to see if I had an ‘illegal’ stash of electronics.
When I finally was ready to make my break, I learned the truth behind their concern over electronics. I never knew I had an uncle who disappeared in his early twenties. Disappeared because he had met someone online. If they only knew who my college professor was and that he had left the family on purpose, they would understand why I needed to leave as well.