I’ve blogged before about doors closing (and opening), but when you are closing the door on the past, on your childhood home, well, one can’t help the wander down memory lane.
We think the parents moved in sixty years ago, give or take a little. Our family has occupied that spot for a very long time. Unlike childhood homes in the movies, it is not, nor has it ever been, a shrine to the past.
Our childhood rooms were repurposed when we moved out. It’s been remodeled and updated at times. Our parents mostly looked forward and had to be efficient with the use of space as they raised (and eventually launched) six children.
There is one exception to the “no shrines” rule. And that is in the laundry room (which used to be a bedroom for me, my sister, my brother—and a freezer.) It was not a big room, but my parents managed to shoehorn all of us in there.
There was a tiny closet (where one of our many cats had kittens) and it had one window. Other stuff happened there, like my sister’s artwork—one of two remaining artifacts of our time in that bedroom before it’s remodel into a laundry room.
Now that there can be no retribution in this life, my sister confessed the story behind the drawings. She was four, our next brother (#5) was one. Yes, this is need-to-know.
So, in the explicable ways of the child, my sister decided she needed to draw popsicles on the wall.
That didn’t go well, so she tried to turn them into people.
That didn’t go well either. And it dawned on her that Mom might not be thrilled about the artwork. So she added the scribble and handed the crayons to our one-year-old brother, hoping he’d get blamed.
It might have worked if not for the popsicle people…
As my sister put it, her artistic career began and ended at four.
She is also responsible for the Wheatie. Yes, that black thing is a 55+ year old Wheatie.
I asked her why she stuck a Wheatie to the wall and got a Look.
Yeah, dumb question. She was four. And, apparently, didn’t like the blankness of the wall.
As we closed the door on these two artifacts (after taking pictures, of course), we wondered why Mom left the Wheatie there? Was it overlooked in the chaos of six kids? I suspect the other “artwork” was left because my dad was busy with other parts of the house and then became…impossible to paint over.
I know when we moved out of our family home of eighteen years, we left artwork behind that we couldn’t bear to paint over. We left that for the new owners to do.
What we don’t have to leave behind are the lessons and the memories. I look in that door and I don’t see a laundry room. I see our bed under the window with the sunbonnet girl quilt that Mom brought from her home, spread across the bed. I see the crib where my brother slept and woke us banging it against the wall, so he could get up.
I see the small ghosts of who we used to be. And I smile because this was where I learned to move forward, to let go of what can’t be changed.
But I do wonder what the heck is in Wheaties that a single flake could endure for over fifty years?
Any theories about the “Breakfast of Champions?” (Are they still for sale? Trying to remember…) I love comments so much that I pick a favorite to receive my monthly AnaBanana gift basket ($25 value). (And don’t forget that once a quarter I’ll be tossing in something fun from the Perilously Fun Shop!) Recipient is announced the first blog post of the new month.