Monday, July 28, 2008

My Childhood Home

Lately....the past couple of months...I've been thinking a lot about the house I grew up in.

I'm not sure why. Maybe it's the fact that my brother got married again or that my dad is living in Canada at the moment. I pretty recently was tattooed with a design by my friend Julie with a memorial for my cousin who died, so perhaps I'm just reflecting. Maybe I just have growing up on the brain. Simpler times with no mortgage, no marriage, no responsibilities, and no money to count.

Being a real estate agent, I check to see if my childhood home is on the market with a relative frequency. I'd love to see what the inside looks like and if it went on the market I'd probably try to convince The Mister to buy it.

I wonder if the new family kept that horrible wallpaper I had in my bedroom. It must have been a nursery when we moved in. My room was too much of a wreck for me to ever let my dad in to paint it a suitable color for young girl (not a baby). I hope they didn't pull up the pink tiles my dad put down one-by-one in the upstairs bathroom. I remember laying on the floor, carpet tickling my nose, watching him put them down. He forgot that he had even done it until I reminded him at dinner a few weeks ago. The early 90's was a time where my dad felt comfortable with pink tile, I guess. The bathroom downstairs had a blue toilet and blue sink. The mirror that hung above the sink was in this awful gold frame. All of that was there when we moved in and there when we moved out. He even painted the downstairs of our bi-level blue and put a blue wash on the trim. In my adult mind, I assume this was to minimize the impact of the blue bathroom fixtures. Or maybe offset that, ah, stylish paneling?

The fireplace was the worst! There was this wooden eagle permanently glued onto the brick above the rough-hewn mantle. Once, when I was probably 8 or 10, I was standing on the hearth, just fooling around, and got a good grip on that eagle's foot and broke it right off. As much as my parents hated the thing, they just glued the foot right back on.

When we moved out, I was 14 I guess. Old enough to be happy to say goodbye to my 10x10 room for a teenage palace at our new house, but still old enough to be sad to leave the place that I had done most of my growing up in.

I've driven by a few times in the last 10+ years. They painted the garage door a much darker color. I noticed that the pink blinds were no longer in my bedroom, the blue not hanging in my brother's window either. The tree I planted in the side yard on arbor day, that was once a twig, is now a huge strong monster.

My stomach turned a little when I saw the garage door up and packed with boxes of junk to the ceiling.

Dad never would have let it get that way.

They chopped back the bushes I used as a club house and played in.

It's terribly embarrassing to admit that I teared up a little when I saw that the fence is falling down in the back yard. That fence was perfect when we lived there. It had to be to keep the dog in.

He died about 6 years ago...I guess that's what was so sad about that fence. I begged my dad for that dog.

But hey, they built a shed in the back - at least it looks nice.

Last time I drove by, one of my neighborhood friends was walking down the street with her two kids, I guess they were around 6 and a 3 or so. That was an odd feeling.

In my profession, I'm dealing with buying and selling houses everyday. I talk all the time about how silly it is for people to get emotional about a house. It's just sticks and bricks, we like to say. It's money in exchange for a place to lay your head at night. I whole-heartedly believe it every time I say it. A child's home though...growing up. Now that seems different. I spent nearly all of my formative years there. I helped raise our first puppy in that house. I stayed up drinking Kool-Aid and playing video games until Arsenio Hall came on in that house. (preferably in a tent, under a couch cushion fort, or on the pull-out couch bed) I cried about my first broken heart in that bedroom. I spent every summer on a new Slip-N-Slide in the backyard. I spent my entire elementary and junior high career with that stupid baby wallpaper and yellow stove and blue toilet.

I know not everyone has the privilege of staying in one place most of their lives. Of those who do, I wonder how they feel about the house they grew up in. I wonder how I'll feel 50 years from now about it.

Digg this

No comments:


I heart FeedBurner