In the 17 years I haven’t lived in my parent’s house, not once have I ever received an expressed invitation to come home for a visit. So imagine my surprise when my mother called me last week and asked me to come home for Easter. Me. Her least favorite of all the little ingrates she birthed who ruined her life. Something sinister is up, I know it. This may sound odd to those of you with non-Irish, rightly functioning families, but we’re talking about my parents.

Raising the small army that they did, once my siblings and I left the house, my parents basically barred the doors blocking any chance for our return. Well, except for my younger brother who resides in the basement. But he’s weird, so I guess that excuses him. Seriously, the boy is in his late 20’s and still living in the basement? He’s half a step away from attending a Star Trek convention, that one. And he’s the baby of the family who looks like my mom’s father, so I suppose Mom considers him her little Irish Prince. Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually grateful for that. It kept their attention off me and my shenanigans for a good long time.

But this invite? This is something new. I’m not a grandchild or my husband, all of whom are always welcomed in their house. And it’s not Giftmas, I mean, good Dog, I’m not over the last one yet, so I know my parents can’t be either.

So now I’m suspicious. I’m supposed to leave today and my overwhelming curiosity is the only thing driving me home. I suppose I could use it. When I’m feeling down or in transition, my mom’s unflinching criticism is usually just the thing to get me back up on my feet.

But something’s up and I’m packing survival gear. Just to be on the safe side.