Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Stage 3: Empty Nest

Whatever fears I had about moving here and getting settled aren't really bothering me. I am trying to make that shift in my head that my home is here and not in Texas. I want to enjoy the process of making my own home the way I want it and letting it evolve organically as Edmund and I live our lives. I am finally a grownup. I think.

I grew up in a small house in Greenville, Texas:

I lived there for the first 13 years of my life, and I loved my life there. I think anyone that lives somewhere for 13 years forms an attachment to the place. (Except my mom. She doesn't get it. She's very well-adjusted.) I just had a great childhood there. It grew with our family over time. This is the backroom we added when I was about 4, I think.

We could add on and refurbish, but we couldn't make it what we needed, so when I was 13, we moved to the other side of town into a larger house. Where the first house was perfect for me in my childhood, our new home was perfect for a new teenager who was begining to be sensitive about things like what part of town we lived in and what kind of cars we drove. It saw me securely into adulthood and survived countless high school parties, family gatherings, the overflow from several college apartments, and eventually my parents' divorce. It had a fantastic backyard.

I managed to completely overlook the fact that my mom's life was evolving too. It should have come as no great surprise that she might want to move somewhere that suited her needs, now that one kid was fully out and the other mostly out. She was making friends as a single lady. I found out the other day that she is, with certainty, putting the house up for rent and moving to another town close by, where she can be closer to her friends.

Maybe I am just incapable of dealing with more than one life change at a time, but I didn't realize when I packed my things and moved away, that when I returned for Christmas I wouldn't be returning THERE. Suddenly I was desperate to sit on the deck, to putter around the kitchen, and sit in front of the fireplace one last time. I was irritated, upset. My mother tried several tacks with me.
"You and Edmund will still have your own room!"
"Think of how much closer you'll be to Dallas!"
"The new house has a fireplace too!"
And finally, disgruntled, "I just think most people don't get as attached to houses like you do."

I resent that. Why shouldn't I get attached to a place that's been so good to me for so long? Maybe this is going to be the place that introduces the third stage of my life. Childhood, Coming of Age, and now Newlywed Adult. And a sure sign that my real home is really all here, in Ireland. Who knows for how long.


Anonymous said...

Drinkers happier than non-drinkers. Maybe you should drink more. ;-)


Jennifer said...

I totally get it, and I think I'm worse. I was upset when my parents completely redecorated the house, changing every single room and replacing almost all the furniture (granted it had all been around since at least '87 so maybe it was time). And then they sold the shop (which was a blessing, but try to tell that to the little girl inside me who wants to know she can still go there when the world is scary). And my grandmother's house was bought by strangers who turned the front yard into a parking lot. It's weird when none of your childhood touchstones are around anymore, or have completely changed. Then again, my grandfather has changed basically nothing since my grandmother died (including leaving her lotion on the coffee table), and somehow, that makes me even sadder.