Is your family as nuts as mine at Thanksgiving?

You've got to love this time of the semester. We're past midterms, but finals are looming closer than we realized. Research papers and projects remain untouched while their deadlines quickly approach. Registration has put you in the mindset of next semester before this one is over and the workload seems larger every time you look at it. This week, I definitely wish I could wave a magic wand and create five more of me to get everything finished with some semblance of sanity left over at the end.

Could you ever imagine that you would be so happy to go home to the quirkiness that is your family next week? I mean, everyone has that one family member, or maybe a few more than that, who makes you roll your eyes and wonder if maybe your real parents left you on these people's doorstep. And of course, at Thanksgiving, that insanity is only amplified by the bustle of cooking 14 different dishes on one stove and a multitude of family members crowded in the living room, screaming at the football game. It's the epitome of craziness, and admit it, you love it.

I never fully appreciated the absurdity of my family until I left for college. They were always just there, part of a routine, and even the silliness never seemed out of the ordinary. Here at Geneseo, I discovered a whole new kind of craziness. I am juggling classes and organizations, doing homework late into the night, working part-time and barely making enough to put gas in my car, while somehow trying to fit in a social life.

And comparatively, I don't do that much. I have friends who do twice as many things as I do, and I am constantly in awe of them. All of the twists and turns are just part of everyone's lives here, and slowly your roommates, co-workers and classmates become your family, but it's never quite the same, is it? As busy as I am, I find that in free moments I remember how great it is to sit on the couch with my family, free of obligations, and laugh, joke and tell stories all afternoon. Before, they were just part of the scenery of life, and now the distance can make one realize how good it was before, even if you didn't realize it.

Family shapes who you are, they are your constant support system, and, like it or not, you have their genes and are therefore doomed to end up just like those quirky aunts and uncles one day. No matter what kind of family you have, increasing age can really make you appreciate them for who they are and what they bring to your life, even if it is only a funny story to bring back to your roommates after break.

So next week, I am going to go home, eat two Thanksgiving dinners, and sit back and enjoy the dinner show that is family. My aunt, like clockwork, announcing she is full long before she actually stops eating, my uncle speculating over dinner about the many scenes and songs if he were to make his life into a musical, and my grandmother constantly asking if you would like more, even after you've ingested enough calories to feed a small nation. Ah, bliss. Happy Thanksgiving.