So, I spent Labor Day weekend at my parents’ house. There is something about going back there that does something bizarre to me every time. I wouldn’t say I revert to being the child again, but I sure don’t feel like the independent adult and mother that I am, either. I won’t go through the whole “you can’t go home again” routine. Anyone who has left home for any length of time can tell you that. I guess it is more about who I am when I am there. I was visited by a lot of “ghosts” from my past this weekend.
I really had a hard time sleeping when I was there. Granted, I have a hard time sleeping all the time, but I was a lot more restless this weekend. (And not because Little Diva kept me awake by prying my eyes open to see if I was awake or poking me. I was already awake during those fun experiences.) I guess I just had a lot on my mind and being in the home that I grew up in just made me more melancholy.
Going home is hard for me. Nothing is the same. Yet, on the surface, it looks so much like where I grew up. But it isn’t. It just isn’t. Ever since Mom got diagnosed with MS and gave up, it is a sadder place. Her laughter used to fill every room. You couldn’t come to my house and not leave a happier person. Mom effected everyone that way. I used to have friends call me and talk to her for 10 minutes before I ever got the phone. Ever since she lost that will to fight, the atmosphere has changed. Oh, I don’t blame her. Not really. At least the adult in me doesn’t. But the little girl in me… She is pissed off. (Or is it the other way around? I don’t really know.) All I know is that I am not ready to be the grown up and face the reality of my parents’ mortality. I guess all of us feel that at some point. I was just hoping I could keep my head comfortably buried in the sand.
Perhaps I always feel that and just keep it under the surface. Probably. This time, my mind would have none of that. I was restless. Saturday night, I sat down to write. Maybe that would help. Nothing. Not one single inspiration struck me. Nada. I sat at the computer and watched that little cursor blink. blink. blink.
It is strange to be in a place where externally, not a whole lot has changed, but yet the entire essense of the place has. The room that is now called “the Office” was my big brother’s room. It has changed the least. Kidlet Jr sleeps in the same bed my brother did. The same shelves hold the trophies from his childhood. The same books sit dusty on those shelves. Forgotten and outdated. Of course, the Judas Priest poster is down and replaced with a US Open poster/calendar. But, it still looks like my brother’s room.
Little Diva sleeps in my sister’s room. I share it with her. Growing up, all I wanted was to have that room as my own. It was the bigger, better room. It had 2 doors and that was way cool to me. That and the fact that I wanted everything my sister had. Now, it has the uncomfortable bed in it and the bright morning sun. Yet, still, it is still my sister’s room in the back of my mind. And I get to sleep there. (Of course, the thrill is gone without all of her cool clothes and makeup and albums. Yes. Albums.)
Kidlet Sr sleeps in my old room. Very little of that room resembles what it was when I lived there. The closet has some old books and pictures and has my Homecoming Mums on the wall, but that is about all that remains of my occupancy there. However, if I lay in the bed and stare at the ceiling, it is the same light, fan and pattern that I stared at for so many years while growing up. I stood there for a long time that night. Not sure why or what was making me so restless. Then, as if I was 15 again, I decided to go to my secret hiding place just for old times sake.
So, careful not to wake my sleeping son, I opened the window, popped out the screen and climbed onto the first floor roof. I used to sit up there for hours growing up. (It was also how my brother and I used to sneak out, but that is an entirely different story in itself.) As I sat up there, it began to rain. And I began to cry. I cried one of those gut wrenching cries that comes from somewhere so deep you can’t even identify it’s source. So there I am, a 33 year old mom, sitting on a slippery roof, crying my heart out in the rain. Then the absurdity of the situation (and the ridiculousness of the scene) hit me. And I began to laugh. A real laugh that just takes control of your entire being until you just know there is no way to stop it. I hurried back into the house before I slipped and fell. I didn’t want to have to explain what I was doing and I surely didn’t want to plummet (note to Buzz…plummet not fall) to my death.
I dried off and went downstairs for a cup of coffee. Granted it is about 2:00am and the house is quiet, but for the first time since I had been there, I felt peace. I guess I needed to purge something. And I did.