Our House in the Middle of the Street

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
This brokenness inside me might start healing
Out here it’s like I’m someone else
I thought that maybe I could find myself

If I could just come in, I swear I’ll leave
Won’t take nothing but a memory
From the house that built me

– Miranda Lambert

Today’s Daily Prompt asks about our childhood homes. My parents still own the house I grew up in, and I still go there on weekends, and I’ll be living there this summer. I dread the day when they finally decide to sell it.

We moved in when I was 2, and I have no memories until a few years later. My earliest memories of the house were getting my first cat, and sneaking into the play room (now my room) in the “middle of the night” (probably 8:30) with my sister. My parents always caught us. I remember first days of school, trying on back to school outfits, and waiting in the kitchen for my mom to make lunches. I remember writing, for the first time, when I was 8 or 9, in my parents office in the basement.

I don’t know why, but my most vivid memory of “home” is the way the house smelled when I got home from school in the summer. My parents would leave the windows open, and the screen door. The robins and the cardinals would be hopping around the trees, singing, until someone pulled out a camera – we’ve never gotten a picture of our bird subletters. The magnolia tree would be in bloom, right outside the kitchen window. That might be the smell I’m remembering. And my dad would be barbecuing, my mom making a tomato salad with fresh tomatoes from the garden. And after dinner would mean walking down to the park, to meet whoever was allowed out that night, and sit around on the bleachers and act like pre-teens… probably walk to the convenience store for a slushie, and a bar of chocolate, and usually an airhead as well (just thinking of airheads makes my teeth hurt…) Then I’d go home and sit at my computer in the basement, and talk on MSN until bedtime.

I would love to just sit in on an hour of my life at that age. Not much longer – I love my independence, and all that. But I miss being fun and weird and completely shameless. And safe, mostly. I knew I was going to be okay, because there is nothing in the world safer than a balmy summer night when you’re 13. I didn’t need to make any life-altering decisions. I didn’t need to pay rent. I didn’t even need to do homework.

Speaking of which, I should probably sign off and do some homework.

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7 Responses to Our House in the Middle of the Street

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