If you’ve been with me for a few years, you know I’m in good company on Thursdays. Check out this fantastic group of ladies, giving insight on various topics. Click on:
Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.
Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.
Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World
For this week, Tracey asked us about our childhood home.
There have been many childhood homes in my past. I moved around a lot when I was a kid, to various parts of the city I’d grown up in. By the time I reached the 7th grade, I’d attended five different elementary schools!
Moving and relocating had been par for the course, yet the one constant in my life had always been the home of my grandparents.
I was six when I started spending weekends with Grandma. I’d get so excited, waiting, anticipating her arrival. She’d often pick me up from my apartment on Friday afternoons, and we’d make the short drive to the nearby pizza place, ordering a large with everything on it. While we waited, we’d walk next door to the video store, and she’d let me check out a video or two. The Neverending Story was my go-to choice, back in the day.
We’d pick up the pizza, and head to her house. Grandpa would be there, sitting in his special chair at the dinner table, reading. The pizza was always the take and bake kind, so while the oven heated up, we’d talk and catch up. They’d ask me about school, about my siblings, my parents. Friends. My life.
After dining on delicious pizza, they’d often let me watch my movie, and I’d cuddle up beneath a comfy blanket, relaxed and comfortable. My room (it was never the guest room, it was always “my” room) had one of those old-fashioned night-light projectors, the kind that illuminated various colors and shapes on the ceiling. Falling asleep was never difficult for me. I always felt so safe in that bed, in that room.
I’d wake up super early on Saturday morning. Grandpa was always up at the crack of dawn, and there he’d be in his special chair, drinking coffee, reading the paper. I’d ask him to put in my movie for me; I wasn’t allowed to use the VCR, not when I was six. And, he’d always do it. By the time the weekend was at its end, I’d have watched my movie(s) two to three times before I’d arrive back home, to my mother.
Sometimes, I’d go on trips with my grandparents, or run errands with them. We’d visit their friends, or stay in and play board games. A coat closet had been converted into a mini-crafting area for me, and when my sister was old enough to visit on the weekends, too, it was all ours for the taking. The closet was filled to the brim with board games, paper, art supplies, and toys. There was an endless supply of fun and creativity!
Our weekend visits continued for many years, even parlaying into a full-time living situation when I was barely a teen. I didn’t mind. I loved living there. Grandma and I would stay up super late on the weekends, watching Saturday Night Live or some movie we’d rented from the video store. On school days, I’d walk the half-mile to the nearest bus stop, flash my city bus pass, and ride it to school. I’d do it all again, in reverse, on the way home. Even after I’d moved away and lived with my dad, or with my best friend, I knew I could always go “home”, if I needed to, and I often did.
Even now, when I visit the city where I grew up, I stay with Grandma. Grandpa passed away 2008, and even though I know GG (the nickname my sons have for her, meaning “Great Grandma”) is independent at eighty-two and can handle herself just fine, she likes the company.
There are a few things that have changed in the house. New flooring. New technology (gone are the days of the VCR). New bed in “my” room. But a lot of what has always been there for me since childhood, remains the same. We still order a large pizza with everything, a take and bake. We still stay up late at night, watching a movie, talking, and finding out about one another. And I still get the best night’s sleep of my life, every single time, when I’m “home” with Grandma.