Roan and I are in Colorado, staying at the home of Roan’s Grandpa Genius which also happens to be my childhood home. The place has been through a lot of changes – all the kids are gone, repainting has been done, cupboards have been torn out, a wife has been added (still, my dad only has one at a time as I’ve previously stated) and my bedroom which I never ever snuck out of nor let anyone sneak in to (today may or may not be opposite day) is now home to four bunk beds and nary a Sex Pistols poster in sight.
I’ve never really mourned the changing of a home or its landscape but last night as I was closing the door to my old room I noticed that the ceiling is still holding on to a dozen or so plastic glow-in-the-dark stars that I stuck up there decades ago. I never would have asked to keep them up, but I’m really happy these little time-stamps from my life are still working their adhesive and glow-y magic.
Coming home always feels nostalgic and strange. I don’t really remember how to get anywhere, but put me behind the wheel of a car and I will arrive. There’s a hill nearby which causes me to blush each time I go past it as I remember my sister Lori and I sunbathing naked up on the top of it, naïvely believing that we were being discreet. And that skin cancer was a myth. Nevermind that it’s not actually that high of a hill, and that there’s a somewhat busy road around its perimeter. To all the weirdos and not-so-weirdos out in the world that got an eyeful of my sister and me, you’re welcome.
The funniest thing of all is that I’m running around this place with my very own son. There’s always this feeling that a ghost of my angsty past is hanging around here, and I wonder if I’d like to talk to her? But what would I say? That everything turns out great? I dunno – life has been pretty messed up in places. That I should do something different? Yeh, actually – there are a few things I’d change, but who knows where that would have landed me? I guess I’d just be all, “So. You end up marrying a really hot guy who loves you like crazy, and having a son who breaks your heart every day because it’s too full of love, and then having twins in NYC where you have no room to even have a pet rock” And my teenage self would probably think I was authority and authority sucks so she’d just go on spraying Aqua Net (pink can) on her hair while listening to The Cure and dreaming of seducing rock stars and living fast, anywhere but here.
I love coming home. It feels complicated but isn’t – it’s just a simple place with a lot of history. I love having my boy here, getting all the benefits of having grandparents who just couldn’t love him more. He’s getting to shoot a bow and arrow, as well as a gun, he’s getting to swim his heart out with his Auntie Kellene who is the definition of fun, and totally getting spoiled when going shopping with his Grandmother who asks him, “Why choose?? Buy them all!” as she whips out her credit card.
I remain mostly in the background, watching my family, dysfunctional and funny but ultimately awesome, all living our future lives in the same setting as the past. And it just feels good. Coming home feels good.