Going back to my childhood home is easy. I only moved out a little over a year ago and I only moved 25 minutes away. It’s different though; I look at it and there is this giant yard, so much space, a relaxing pool… it’s suburbia. It’s my home still. Always.
In the summertime the frogs croak all night long. My parents like to eat dinner with the door to the back porch open so they can hear them. The house always smells like oranges, although I can never tell if it’s because the house was cleaned that day (since my parents keep it insanely clean all the time) or if it’s from one of the candles my mom likes to burn.
Things inside have changed though. They are trying to downsize so things are constantly gone or packed up. It’s hard for me… I don’t want it to change because like I said, it’s still my home. My bedroom isn’t a bedroom anymore. I have to sleep in the guest room, which is weird because that means I’m now a guest in my house… and because growing up I wanted nothing more than for the guest room to be my bedroom. But I was only allowed to sleep in there when I was sick.
There are the things that won’t ever change. There is the laughter. Endless, knee-slapping laughter that always happens while we’re sitting around the dining table. There is the hilarious banter between my parents. After almost 33 years they still keep each other on their toes with sarcastic remarks, sweet nicknames, and storytelling. He sits in his spot on the couch, she sits at her desk that is next to the TV, and they just prove to me that falling in love with your best friend is amazing.
On the coffee table, amidst those candles I mentioned, there is a leather bound book proudly displayed for everyone to see. It will never change – it’s been in that spot longer than I’ve been alive, getting picked up on any given day to take us back to their wedding. Those images won’t change. My mom with the poofy sleeves, my dad with a head full of hair and a mustache, the incredibly 80’s bridesmaids gowns, older family members I never had the chance to meet dancing the night away. The smiles on their faces showing a love that cannot be touched.
Going back to my childhood home is easy. Seeing it change is tough. But their wedding album on their coffee table… that will make any house feel like home.