The View From A Slightly Twisted Angle

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It Isn’t Home Any Longer

on April 15, 2013

Early (very early!) Saturday morning found me jumping in my vehicle for a road trip to the north. My companions: my mother, our youngest (sleepy) daughter and my over sized travel mug of coffee. (I did mention it was early – right??)  Our mission: to help our oldest daughter get ready for her senior prom.  I think I’ve mentioned a million a few times how hard it is for this mom to have her little girl finishing her senior year without me there so since I had the day off we decided to whisk up to our former hometown and spend the day with her.  It seemed important.  I didn’t want to miss it. I think she was happy that I didn’t want to miss it too. Since I am a multitasker I also scheduled an appointment with my wonderful hair therapist whom I haven’t seen since we moved. (I had the gray hairs showing through to prove it.)  Of course it was prom day (or “up-do day” for hair therapists) so she sweetly squeezed me in early since I was going to be in town. That was the reason for the giant coffee mug and early start.  I really can’t blame my daughter.  Don’t tell her I said that though.

As we took off for a ladies road-trip day I couldn’t help but wonder a little how it was going to feel to return to the town which used to be home.  I hadn’t been back since the day we took off with the U-haul except for one quick trip for a final walk through our old house.  That particular trip left a rather unpleasant taste in my mouth, but that is a rant blog for a different day.  Setting out on the route that is oh-to-familiar I hoped this trip would be a little more fun and produce better memories but  I did wonder if I’d feel weird in such a familiar place now that things have changed.  I had promised my husband that we wouldn’t drive past our old home: something our daughter has struggled with since we moved.  She would drive by and get upset at the changes that were taking place.  Then she’d text me.   It’s hard to say goodbye to a house you grew up in.  It’s even harder when they are changing everything about that place.  Like cutting down all the trees you loved.  Since I am “away” it was easier for me to detach: we don’t live there any more and everything has changed for us.  For her it has been harder: the only thing that has really changed for her is her address and her “parents”. (Trust me – she got the good end of that deal.  Her new “parents” are way more fun, own a Keurig and make homemade blizzards.  She may never come “home”.)  Even though I detached fairly easily there have been times since we moved that I’ve missed that old house.  Like the times when our youngest daughter and I are both trying to get ready to leave in the morning.  I miss having two bathrooms.  Or when the kids are bickering.  I miss the space to send them away from each other.  Or when I’m tired. I miss our private master bedroom.  Just a few times few and far between. For the most part  I am over the moon with happiness at being where we are but there are times.  Driving by the old place, I knew, wouldn’t accomplish a thing.  I didn’t intend to do it.  What I forgot was that when you enter town you can see our old house from the highway if you know where to look.  From the backseat our youngest daughter exclaimed, “Oh my GOSH!  What did they do?? The trees are all gone and it looks stupid!”  Heart sinking a little I turned up the street to take my mom and daughter to the local coffee shop not far from my hair salon without responding to her.  Maybe this hadn’t been a good idea.

Since it was before noon  9am on a Saturday and no teenager in her right mind was going to be awake yet, I dropped off my traveling companions at the coffee shop to wait for daughter #1 to meet them while I got my hair done.  It was really kind of an odd feeling.  Everything there was the same yet it felt so very “different”.   Odd.  My hair appointment helped quite a lot.  There is nothing like being pampered and walking out of a place feeling pretty that helps one frame of mind.  My sweet little hair therapist is a miracle worker and I love just talking with her.  I felt a little more “at home” after spending time there and even better when I arrived to pick up my road trip-mates to discover daughter #1 had rolled out of bed and joined them.  Have I mentioned that I miss that girl?  Giggling and planning for the rest of the day we took off to go to the house where she is living with some very sweet friends of ours.  We had a dress to shorten and time to spend together.  The day was looking up!  It was great to see our friends again and catch up on the happenings of the past five weeks.  While we chatted my mother and I managed to figure out how to shorten my “inherited her mother’s height” daughter’s dress without deconstructing it.  When the last-minute (thanks kid!) dress alterations were complete it was time to take off for her to get her hair done.  Back to the salon.  Half an hour later she emerged with a princess-‘do and we were off to have lunch.  Then back to the house for nails. Make-up.  Last-minute primping.  Every girl needs a day to feel pampered and special and I’m so glad I didn’t miss this day with ours.  It was a wonderful day: a day of girly giggling and spending time with some of the most precious ladies in my life.  Despite the surreal moments of being in our “hometown” but staying in someone else’s home, it was a great day.

After the pictures and the good-bye hugs we watched her drive away before taking off for our return trip.  My mommy heart was a little sad seeing my beautiful girl take off and knowing I wouldn’t see her again for a few weeks.  It was in that frame of mind I pulled out of the driveway in the neighborhood very close to the neighborhood where we used to live.  Out of habit I pulled onto the shortcut street to get to the highway.  The one that runs parallel to the street where we lived.  I didn’t even think about it until we were passing our old house.  “Mom – LOOK!” daughter #2 exclaimed. I couldn’t help it – I glanced over.  I took in the yard now void of trees: the lilac and magnolia and crab apple that I loved to watch bloom every spring.  The pine trees which blocked the view of the garbage trucks parked in the lot behind the house.  Oh my. I quietly observed that I was glad they didn’t make those changes before we moved because I wouldn’t have liked them.  We got to the highway and headed south.  Somewhere in the middle of that trip the feeling of “I just want to get home” set in.  About the same time the realization hit me: I was headed HOME.  I finally realized why things felt a little odd all day long.  Though I have left a large piece of my heart living in our former hometown and I will cherish the memories we have from there the truth is this: It Isn’t Home Any Longer.

Of course I’m going to post a picture of the purpose for our trip.  Isn’t she beautiful??

Three of My Favorite Ladies

Three of My Favorite Ladies

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2 responses to “It Isn’t Home Any Longer

  1. It’s got to be just gut-wrenching and exciting at the same time with all of these changes! Your daughter looks just like a princess and it’s great that you got to be part of that special moment in her life!!

  2. wedelmom says:

    It’s weird – but good. 😉
    Thank you. I’m glad I was there too!

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