Monday, March 5, 2012

You Can't Go Home

You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it's all right.  
~Maya Angelou

Last weekend, I helped my family move out of my childhood house.  
It was sad, closing the door and knowing that I would never walk through it again.  My mom had boxes of old toys and dishes for me to go through.  Of course, I wanted to keep everything, but that isn't realistic.  Digging through my dusty old bedroom was sweet and nostalgic.  I had to say goodbye to an endless amount of report cards, clothes, and books.  As I was sorting through McDonalds toys and Hot Wheels Cars, what should I find in an ancient leftover container? My most favorite toy from third grade: Littlest Pet Shop kitties.  Back in the day, Littlest Pet Shop toys weren't the crazy colored bobble head animals they are now.  This set has a tiny cat mom with five babies, two of which magnetically suckled 'milk' from her.
My Mom made sure that I brought my Bunnykin dishes home with me (my introduction to becoming a member of the exclusive 'Clean Your Plate' club) and my 'Flattie' doll from my Grandma.

When I was about nine, my Mom gave me her favorite childhood toys: well loved vintage 1960's Midge & Allen dolls (notice Midge's hair cut). She explained, as I carefully unwrapped them, how they had been stored away in hopes of her having a daughter to give them to one day.
Even as a child, I understood the importance of such a gift and I was touched to have them back.
She also gave me this beautiful pink scarf with a great story.  
When she gave birth to me, my parents lived on an Air-Force base in California.  Whenever an Air-Force wife was pregnant, the other wives threw a big baby shower to help her cope with being away from her home and family.  At the shower, one of the women gave her the scarf (pink because she knew I would be a girl) as a gift.  For twenty-eight years, it's been packed away with baby clothes and pictures.  

My mother gave it to me on moving day so that I would stay warm while I carried boxes.  
For the last week, I've been wearing it and thinking about her.  As an Air-Force family, we've moved so many times.  At first its was scary, but we adjusted.  Now I have my own home, but it feels good to know I'll always be welcome wherever they are, too.

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