The girlies and I have returned to my roots... We are spending the weekend in my parents' house, which is the same house in which I spent my entire childhood. Mum and Dad are in Europe, and a few days ago I received a phonecall from one of their neighbours... it seems that a storm passed through town on Tuesday, badly damaging the trees and disrupting electricity on the street. So, we're here to help with the clean-up, but mostly to enjoy a quiet weekend in this beautiful town, in the house that I know by heart.
I think I'm probably one of few people who spent their whole childhood in just one place... Most of my friends cannot believe that my mother and father have been in the same house for over forty years. I guess it's part of the "small town" thing, and also has a great deal to do with the fact that my father's line of work (medicine) did not necessitate hauling the family from pillar-to-post for the sake of forwarding his career.
For this, I am incredibly grateful. Although I do confess to strange pangs of nerves, and even the occasional unpleasant childhood "flashback" as I drive through the city limits each time I visit (not often enough, according to my mother, and I confess that it's true), it never fails that the initial unpleasant feelings give way to a sense of deep peace as I step over the threshold of the house where I grew up.
Child Number One: (smiling and sniffing) I love Gramma and Grampa's house. It smells nice.
Child Number Two: Yup. It feels like they're still here. Whaddaya think it smells like?
Mother: (closing her eyes) It smells like Home.
It's wonderful to be back. We miss The Folks, but actually, it's more relaxing to be on our own... to do what we like WHEN we like, make messes, and not worry about the stress we might be causing them... My kids are playing with the same toys I played with as a child, I've been stopped on the street to chat with people who have known me since I was "this high!", and I've been wandering through all my old stomping grounds... the parks, the schools, the church where my husband and I were married...
My parents have been nurturing an enormous garden here for nearly half a century, and it's just beginning to bloom. This morning, I'm going to mow the lawns, do a little pruning and weeding, and watch the Two Year Old ride in circles on the tricycle that I used to peddle around the patio. It's weird to see history repeating itself, but also strangely reassuring. I'm so grateful to have this house to come home to, and parents who are able to continue to maintain and enjoy the place where they have spent nearly all of their married life.
Not very many people are this lucky. But I'm deeply thankful that we are.