Isn’t it amazing how a song or scent can transport you back to a time or place? Lately, I’ve been reminiscing about my childhood. I miss it so much; it hurts.
A few things that have triggered my emo state of mind is:
- My parents. They’re getting old. As a little girl, I always looked at my parents and thought that they would outlast us all with their powerhouse work ethic, wild spirits, and fun, crazy ways. I look at them now (my eyes are tearing up as I type this), and they’re fragile – worn down and frail. The grays are really coming through, health scares have become more frequent, and they’re tired. So, so tired. What I would give to be able to take care of them for the rest of their days.
- My babies. Well, they’re no longer babies. Do you ever watch old videos of your kiddos, or flip through photos, and your heart swells and shatters to a million pieces? I go through old footage and things that I forgot are brought back to life. The way Jojo’s lisp made him impossible to understand, and only daddy knew his secret language; the way Myli drooled out of control, and her curly little ringlets would spring right off her head; the way Alfonso was such a quiet child, everyone used to tease me about keeping a cowbell around his neck so we knew where he was. Then, I look at them now and think, “Where has the time gone? Have I done enough? Am I doing enough to help prepare them for the real world?” It’s such a struggle wanting to keep them small and innocent, yet, cheer them on as they mature into young adults. Help. My heart is hurting again.
- Music. So, Anthony signed me up for Apple Music because I was spending a fortune buying all the songs I wanted. One night, I couldn’t sleep and was up until 4 a.m. sampling music. Well, one song led to another, and I fell down this rabbit hole of feel-good music. I was able to listen to songs I haven’t heard in years and created an awesome playlist. There are two groups in particular that get me all in my feelings – The Carpenters and Fleetwood Mac. Growing up, I heard music from them all the time. Fleetwood Mac also reminds me of Kids Incorporated. I swore I would be on that show, singing with Martika and Fergie. The 80’s and early 90’s were the best.
Speaking of music, whenever I listen to Miranda Lambert’s The House that Built Me, my heart explodes. I remember as a little girl, spending the weekend at my cousin’s house, and coming home Sunday afternoon to a moving truck and all of our belongings moved out. My parents, aunties, uncles, grandparents… everyone was at our house hauling things into the truck and shoving crap into boxes and garbage bags. My parents had
foreclosed. What I had always known to be “home” was now an empty shell.
My bedroom was no longer mine. The tree that my dad planted in the front yard – no longer ours. The slanted backyard where I ran through the sprinkler and had games of kickball with my friends – dunzo. There would be no more winters where we would shovel the deck above our garage, create a heaping pile, and jump in to all that fresh powder. There would be no more nights of staring out my window as I watched all the twinkling headlights pass by (behind our property a ways, was the highway). No more harvesting vegetables from my dad’s garden, and no more practice putts with the make-shift putting green he dug up. In a blink of an eye, my reality morphed into the unknown.
I miss that house. I drive by every now and then – we lived in a cul-de-sac. That same circle is where I learned how to ride a bike, where I fell numerous times and scraped up my knees. Some of my greatest friendships were with kids who lived a few houses away from me. It was a spectacular place.
Call me crazy, but there was a time I stopped in front of the house, and I saw a memory of me and my dad. Like in the movies – how they’ll replay a memory in front of someone, and everyone looks like ghosts… that was me. It was a hot summer’s day, some time in the late 80’s, and I remember my dad mowing the lawn. The ice cream man was driving by, and I begged him for money to get a popsicle. Of course, he gave in, and after I got my treat, I sat on the back of our station wagon (the one with the third row facing back), and watched him. All I ever wanted to do was be with my dad. I used to get so angry when he had to go to work. LOL! Ridiculous, I know.
Random thought – my brother and our next door neighbor had walkie-talkies they would communicate with late at night. Haha! Who else did the same? My-oh-my, how times have changed.
I always tell myself that if that house was ever put up for sale, I would buy it. The sentimental value to me is so great. It’s not a very big house, but to me, that house will always be home. I felt grounded there. Anchored, stable, and safe.
The house that built me.