Currently playing through my headphones: George Winston’s music from “The Snowman.” I remember this music from my childhood vividly. Especially the song that plays as the boy opens the music box and the snowman and boy dance as the ballerina spins.
The music brings back a flood of memories of a big red house, forts in the bushes, swinging from my canopy bed with a friend, snowballs to the face, squirt gun fights, and building an ice rink on our deck… all memories etched into my past and so vivid I can taste the popcorn. I can hear the 70’s rock albums playing from my parents’ record player. I still remember the surprise of my Uncle Beard waiting for me after school, surprising me on a trip from California. No matter where I am, for some reason that house will always be what I think of when people mention “home,” even though I’ve lived plenty of other places.
As I reminisce, I’ve realized it is not necessarily the house itself, or the yard, or the forts; its the memories created there that have stuck with me, and the people I love. Its a place of joy and wonder, laying in the grass in the backyard giggling, and the meals and popcorn and ice-water movie nights shared with my family. Its the friends I’ll always hold in my heart, the ones who knew me in my innocence and first joy.
Here we are, doing exactly the same thing. Doing our best to raise our kids and do everything “right.” But our kids don’t care how big their room is, or that we have no garage and absolutely no sufficient storage space. They probably don’t mind staying home instead of being signed up for every activity imaginable. They don’t care about all the silly details we adults focus on so much and toil and stress over.
Us parents spend so much time trying to provide the perfect childhood for our kids that we miss the mark if we’re not watching closely. If we pay attention, we realize our kids just want to be kids. And they want us to join them. They want boundaries, but they also want to hear loving yesses. They want dirt, and they want to be scrubbed down afterward. They want to dance to loud music and not be told to quiet down. They want us to put down our projects and chores to smile and hug and tickle them. They probably want us to invite people over, and host them without apologizing for the messes.
We’re looking to rent a new place, sometime close to the end of the school year. While Aaron and I may have a long list of what we feel are “needs” in a future home, I think I feel a bit more relaxed now. Our kids really don’t care about the details of the home.
All that matters is that we provide a home for them.
Photo Credit: my mom. I’m the goofy one in the middle with the glasses. 🙂 In that mix are some of my all-time favorite people and kindred spirits.