Wednesday, January 11, 2012

You can go home again...

Through a random series of events this week, I found out that Owen's teacher actually lives in the house I grew up in. I happen to be friends with her on Facebook so once I found out she lived there, I immediately went looking through some of her pictures. To see her sweet family living in our was so exciting! But it also made me so nostalgic.

We moved into that house when I was in 6th grade and lived there until my sophomore year of college. Those are the most impressionable years for anyone, so anytime I think about that house I'm flooded with memories. Searching through those pictures brought terrific and terrible memories for me all at once.

...that was my room, there, the one where I covered the walls with so many pictures of Brad Pitt, Jared Leto, and Mark-Paul Gosselaar that it looked like wallpaper. Where I laid on the floor in front of my boombox waiting for my favorite songs to come on KJ103 to press record for a mixtape.
...that was my sister's room, where we sponge-painted horses on the wall and where the Commodore 64 lived that I played Concentration on for hours.
...that was the loft where our Barbie dollhouse sat, the one I played with for far too long with my best friend from around the corner. It's where we went for slumber parties for privacy, where we tortured our mom by walking on the banister like a balance beam far above the living room below.
...that was the fireplace where my prom pictures were taken, where our stockings were hung each Christmas, where our family gathered for photos at my graduation party. That's where the painting hung that my grandmother made before I was born.
...that backyard housed a trampoline when I lived there, where a majority of my Sweet 16 party (my first co-ed party) was held. I still remember the laughs and fun of that night.
...that kitchen is where my mom would make crockpot chicken noodle soup once a week my senior year for my group of friends since we had off-campus lunch.
...that living room held more youth group devos and slumber parties than you can imagine; it's also where the TV trays would be set up every Thursday night while the three of us watched "Friends" and "ER" together, never missing an episode.
...that driveway, well, that driveway was the same driveway John pulled into to take me on our first (disastrous) date. And 7 dates later it's where he first kissed me.

...that hallway was where my sister and I slept on the floor the night my parents came home and closed their bedroom door, not to open it again until late the next morning. When everything changed. When our house was suddenly one person less.
...that's the spot in my mom's bathroom where we held our precious cat as he took his last breaths, the cat that had been around longer than me. And that backyard, up at the top, is where he's buried.
...that's my parent's room, my mom's room, where my sister and I piled into her bed every night for two solid years after the divorce. We were even fearful of sleepovers, because that bed was where we felt the most safety and comfort.

Christmases and birthdays, baby showers for friends, choir parties, and random moments of teenage all floods me when I look at those pictures. More happy than sad, thankfully. But overwhelming in any case. I loved that house. It was the last place I really had a room. Once we moved from that house, which was far too large for a single mom and her younger child after I'd left for college, I didn't really have a room again. Probably a good thing, since it made it easy to never move back in! But there are times I wish we still had my childhood home.

I do know, however, that HOME is where family is. And I'm as comfortable in my mom's 2-bedroom condo as I would be in that old house. But it's also nice to know that a wonderful young family is building memories for their kids just like mine in those same rooms and hallways. It's nice to see how well it's being taken care of. It's nice to know that if I wanted to, I could go back for just a minute (she invited me!).

When we put it all together, she laughed and said "so YOU are the "JBP" that carved your initials into our banister?". No, JBP is my sister. But the JRP that's on the windowsill in your son's room...that's me. I knew I would miss that house, and I wanted the strangers moving in after us to know that someone made their memories there. That the house was loved.


Ms. J said...

That is really neat! I wish I had such attachment to my childhood home(s) but we moved 14 times before I graduated from high school (all in same school district . . . and no, we weren't in wit.ness pro.tection, LOL).

My husband had a tough time leaving his childhood home (ages 6-18) when he left for college because his folks were divorcing and he would never get to see it again.

Have you ever watch show "Moving Up" on TLC? I love that show!!! I will have a hard time leaving this house because of the memories with my kids, though.

Eva Mahoney said...

So sweet. What a great story! :)

Leah said...

That is so cool! My parents still live in the same house that I grew up in and the only house I ever lived in before my husband and I bought a house, and I know how hard it would be if they didn't live there anymore. It's so cool that you now have a window into your childhood home. It was so cool to read the memories you have there, and even more wonderful that they are mostly good memories. :)