Friday, May 20, 2011
Cleaning out my childhood closet...
So I made the usual trip to Massachusetts to visit my family last week. It was a very restful trip. A complete contrast to the chaos of last minute wedding worries I had experienced almost one year ago. The minute the wheels touched down on that hearty Boston soil, that sunny Saturday morning, a feeling of complete calm came over me. A calm that spread further as I saw my father's smiling face and jubilant voice upon my arrival. Next savoring our traffic chit chat as we made our way home to see the rest of the clan.
As our car's blinker bounced on and off in preparation to turn into our driveway, I soon spotted my mother's gleaming grin from the other side of the glass door. The family dog was also there wagging his tail at her feet. My little brother's toothy smirk suddenly emerging as well, as my family stood and stared at me, anxiously awaiting my arrival.
And as expected, the two weeks made for memory after memory. Pedicures with my mother. Going to the gym with my dad. Jabs and jokes with my two brothers. It was like I had never left, though at the same time, felt like I had been gone forever.
As I had selfishly feared, my brother Colin had finally passed me in height. His childhood had come and gone while I had been away. A new person and man emerging. A person who I had not even seen coming.
I didn't see my other brother Evan a whole lot while being home. Although I clearly remember him commenting on how he may move away to Florida one day. At his words, an instant sadness flowed through me. My mind dominated with the image of my parent's sad eyes as he drove off for good. Unfortunately I could say nothing though, because I had also created those very eyes through my own actions, time after time, for the last seven years.
On one of the last days of my trip, my mother asked me if I wanted to clean out my closet while I was home. There were all kinds of old things that I had left there when I had moved away. Boxes of memories that I had long since put into the back of my mind. And as I pulled each piece of my past out to reminisce, I felt almost sick to my stomach. This was the ultimate sign that I had grown up. I had moved away and left it all behind, and this was the final nail in my childhood coffin.
My dad came to me later that night in private, asking if I would leave at least one of my girlhood items inside my closet. I smiled at him and said of course, as I ran upstairs and grabbed a big red kitten bank I had gotten as a gift when I was ten. I placed it on a nearby shelf in my closet, then closed the door and smiled again. My father wasn't ready to accept that I had grown up, and to be honest, neither was I.