If you can believe it, my parents still live in my childhood home. I have no statistics on this or anything, but in my experience it seems that this is becoming less and less common–especially when you factor in that I actually only had one childhood home, since that house was actually my Dad’s bachelor pad! I didn’t officially move until I was 21 years old, since college dorms don’t really count (as in, no one shuts off your internet because they didn’t process your payment correctly in their own system *squints accusingly at Verizon*). I don’t know if that has anything to do with why I super mega HATE moving, or if everyone super mega hates moving and I’m just particularly whiny about it, but there you have it.
My point in all this is that when I go to visit my parents with Asher, I’m taking him to the house that I’ve identified as “home” for the most aggregate years. I’m bringing him to the place where I learned to walk and talk and do calculus and recover from heartbreak. His Pack ‘n Play is set up in my old bedroom, and I give him a bath in the same bathtub I splashed around in as a baby.
Crazy hair don’t care!
The very first time Asher ever went to “Nanoo and T-Pop’s” house, my Dad came out to the driveway to meet us and asked if he could carry the baby inside. This was special to him, because he had carried me inside the same house for the first time 30 years before, and now it was coming full circle.
My parents’ home is only about 40 miles as the crow flies from New York City, which means that after the attacks of September 11th, 2001, we smelled the smoke for days. I have a visceral memory of an event that had global impact, and which will be 20 years in the past by the time Asher can even begin to wrap his mind around it. And 9/11 is only one of the many reasons that he and I will always understand the world differently.
Such as the fact that I listened to music on cassette tape, didn’t have a cell phone until I went to college, and had to get off the internet when someone else needed the phone line. Heck, I’m OLDER than the internet! I got Facebook when you still had to have a .edu email address, and even then it could only be from certain schools. I can’t even begin to fathom what strange new contraptions and platforms Asher will need to explain to me with when he’s home from college; I’m afraid to dwell on what terrible events are still to come that will serve to shape his worldview.
The divide between our generational life experiences will only continue to widen as we surge ahead at the speed of light. The world Asher will grow up in is not the same one I did, and this uncomfortable truth matters in some incredibly fundamental ways. I hope that I’ll be able to remember that in the future, when his opinions and choices absolutely baffle me…and I’m pretty sure that they will, at least some of the time.
All that makes it so much more precious to me to be able to share my childhood home with him. We may have very few things in common someday, but we will always have this. He may not remember these days of crawling the same floors his mama crawled, eating at the same time-worn table, playing in the very same yard, but I will–and I will cherish them.