Monday, November 22, 2010

Down Home

This weekend I went 'home' to the place of my roots for the celebration of my Mom's birthday. My Grandmama lives in the 130+ year old house in Alabama in which my Granddaddy was born. Although my Mom did not grow up in this house (it was her grandmother and granddaddy's at that time), I did essentially grow up here. My parents built their home on an adjacent 2 acre lot when I was 2 years old. We lived upstairs in this house while our home was under construction.

Because both of my parents have always worked, I spent most mornings and afternoons at Grandmama and Granddaddy's on school days until adolescence. Summer days were spent there with whatever cousins happened to be in town visiting. I have countless childhood memories of everything from fig fights, litters of baby beagles being born, endless games of hide and seek to dancing on my Granddaddy's feet during Lawrence Welk in the afternoons.

One of my children's new favorite things is hearing stories from when I was a child, so this trip was an intentional walk down memory lane in many ways. Sunday morning, I literally took them for a walk all around my Grandmama's property to show them places where scenes from my childhood occurred.

I felt so old as I realized how much had changed in 30+ years. My favorite pear tree and the mesmerizing Catawba tree are both gone--as are many of the overgrown areas that once served as hideouts and forts. I was able to show them where we picked blackberries and honeysuckles--the back field and lane where I started practicing driving at 13-14, my favorite three wheeler trail and much more.

Some things, like this wall of portraits of my Mom (top right) and her 5 siblings are exactly as I remember them...forever frozen in time.
Other things--like the home itself-- have suffered from a combination of my maturing and their age.
Some things as simple as this weathered bench, which I once considered incredibly stately and regal, looked much different to this adult than they did when was a wonder-filled child. It was so much fun to reacquaint myself to these old friends through the eyes of my little people.

As I told my old stories and recounted childhood adventures my trio lapped them up.

One of our most fun activities was climbing my favorite old magnolia trees together.
The trusty old branches on my favorite magnolia had grown a lot higher off the ground in 30 we found new limbs to explore.
And by we, I do mean WE. (Thanks to my Mom for grabbing my camera and snagging this action shot.) I am far more afraid of heights now than I was back then. A recognition of consequences I once lacked, perhaps.
There are moments when I wonder (despite bills, responsibilities and offspring) if it is really possible that I am a grown-up. Something about our trip confirmed to me that I can no longer deny that I am. Just like those magnolias with their new generation of growth, time does march on.

Thankfully, this wasn't a bittersweet recognition for me (this time). It felt right to pass the torch of childhood to K, P & R. Their wonder, giggles, glee and heart for adventure proves they are ready for it!
It took sitting down to type this tonight to realize it so clearly, but I am really very happy with this season of life. Six years old is a great age and stage for my trio--and 36 years old is a fulfilling age for me too.

Only God knows what tomorrow brings, but today/tonight I rejoice in the goodness of the here and now. I will not trade today's joy for worries about an uncertain tomorrow. This season is a glorious one. Tonight I am going to rest in that.


Ashley said...

Yesterday the preachers message was on Kids in the Kingdom Matthew 18:1-6 and not to stop giggling with wonder, playing with friends, trusting completely, forgiving quickly, asking for help and running into our Father's arms! I love that you showed your kids parts of your childhood and that even though they are in the midst of childhood, mommy can still be adventurous and fun too!! Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful and poignant thoughts. Your grandmother's house seems like it should be in a movie, like Steel Magnolias or something. I appreciate your introspective thoughts, as I myself think similarily about life, motherhood, childhood, and this thing called growing up.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Charon Benton said...

What a sweet post! I catch myself going down memory lane more and more the older I get. I love the title of the post--reminds me of that song "down home, where they know you by name and treat you like family". There's NO PLACE like HOME!!!

Todd and Randi said...

Awww! I have lots of fun memories there myself. It makes me wish my family had a compound :)