There are moments when I wonder if I have ever grown up. I still love rhymes, I still aim to spend my whole Saturday at home, and I would much rather sit on the floor with toddlers than socialize in a fancy dress with champagne in hand. I used to think I had to abandon these parts of me in order to grow up, but now I’ve embraced them whole heartedly.
Since moving out of my parents’ house, I have had the time and space to really get to know myself. These innocent parts of my personality are just that. They were and continue to be the building blocks of my childhood. Moments and memories I shared with my mom and my siblings in the glory days of being home, in pajamas, playing games together. We explored our imaginations and mom supported us in every weird game we wanted to play.
A game that sticks out in my mind it “store.” My sisters and I would each take a section of the basement to create our little shop in. We would have themes. (Shannon always had the best ones.) For example, one time someone did a movie and book store. So she collected all of the Dalmatian things in the house: stuffed animals, books, movies, posters, etc. and put it in her store. That was one of the displays. Of COURSE there were other displays like this for different movies.
True to form, we would set up our stores, but then not spend much time “buying” anything from anyone else. Our stores would inevitably be set up for days because Mom, we are going to go back and play. God bless her, much to her chagrin, she allowed it more times than not.
Growing up, my Mom, with the support of my Dad, gave us the time and space to be creative, make a mess, and learn. The confidence of a child is a beautiful thing. I am so grateful my parents gave us this space and provided a home for us in which we flourished.
Filled with trepidation to live on my own and alone, I was wary about not being home with my mom and everyone. One text from my Mom quelled that anxiety for me.
It’s true what they say, home is not a place, it’s a feeling; a home is made of love alone. When you find that love in other places, it doesn’t diminish the value of the home you grew up in; it is in honor of that place that you have found it elsewhere.
My bungalow has become a place of peace and serenity for me- a place I can grief and create. It looks more like a workshop than a dwelling place because I am preparing my section of a real- life store. There’s no place like home.