On Saturday, I took the boys out on a playdate with some friends I’ve had for a very long time. They happen to live across the street from my old house, the house I grew up in. I can no longer see the yellow house my father built from the road, the trees have grown to encase it in its own little world.
But the boys did get to play in the creek that ran through my old property, and they loved it.
That town, that creek…it just feels like home. I don’t know why, after all this time…but it does. I miss the yellow house. I miss my spot by the creek that I used to go to every chance I got. I had to hop across a rock to get there, and I would read or write in the shade of the trees for hours.
There are a lot of happy memories about that house.
The pond my dad made so we would have somewhere to skate in the winter, holiday dinners at the big oak table, every occasion spent together in that house. The summer days we’d spend by the pool with an array of friends and family, the summer nights we’d spend trying to catch fireflies. Sleep-over attempts in the treehouse (we always chickened out). The barn that we believed was truly haunted, and would dare each other to go in it. Alone. The circular driveway I practiced driving in. The muddy part of the creek by the neighbors farm that was perfect for fishing for crayfish in. Bike rides down country roads, even to my old public school a few times.
I debated on driving up the driveway, of looking at the house my dad built, of letting myself remember all those memories in the place I was lucky enough to grow up in just one more time, but I didn’t. It’s not my home anymore, it belongs to another family. I hope they love living there as much as I did.
I guess I long for it because it represents a time that wasn’t as complicated. I was a kid in that house, racing through the fields out front and dipping my feet in the creek. I didn’t really know hardship or troubles back then. I mean, I did…but I didn’t, you know? They seem so insignificant now. I had surgeries and bad pain days, but I had the freedom of country living to return to. I would get to recuperate on a blanket in the shade of the birch tree, reading my books.
I’ll be honest, when I was younger…I never thought the yellow house that I called home would ever not be there. I knew I would leave it, go off and on to my own adventures…but I always thought I’d be able to return, to have Christmas dinner with the whole family and their families around the big oak table. I always thought that my kids would get to sleep in my old bedroom during weekends at Gramma & Papa’s.
At least I got to see my boys enjoying the creek I once played in, the creek that was so much a part of my childhood. That made me feel at peace and happy.
Maybe one day, we’ll move to a place just like that one…with lots of land and a little creek running through. But maybe not…who knows what the future will entail? I just hope that wherever we are, I’m giving my kids fond memories of childhood and family, just like my parents gave me. I had an amazing childhood, and I really don’t take it for granted. I can look back on it with fondless and happiness.