I tiptoe across a carpet of lush grass, sweet-smelling memories cushioning my every step. As I round the corner of the building, tears force themselves into the corners of my eyes. My vision blurs. The old oak trees sway to a breezy cadence, unchanged over all the years. My little one notices the emotion on my face. You must be so happy to see your old house, Mommy. Afraid to use my voice for fear of cracking, I nod my head silently.
Are there chapters in your life that are closing too?
Summer has arrived with all of its beautiful colors and exciting plans. Our family attempts to do everything on the fun list within the amount of vacation days given by the state of North Carolina. For us, summer break isn't always a restful time. My husband and I've discovered a lot about family life over the years, the biggest lesson being:
"Family trips" and "Vacations" are not one in the same!
Postcards of bare, provocatively posed sex workers dot the sidewalks of the city. Men and women, toting children or backpacks kick them nonchalantly as they tour the streets. It's hot. 105 degrees today. The homeless tuck themselves into patches of shade, their meager belongings scattered around the concrete. Billboards flash and horns honk, no attention paid to the clock dial. To escape the heat means an immersion into the world of slot machines and shopping sprees. There are no breaks, from the sun or the noise.
The Vegas strip.
Fifteen years ago:
How did you talk and think? Where was your time spent? What did you stand for?
If you're anything like me, some of the memories that come flooding back are cringe-producing. Others are nostalgic and warm. I can still remember the feeling of excitement as the world was opening up and life's possibilities seemed endless and wide. I could just as easily have been pining for something silly like homecoming court, as standing up for the new student who was being bullied in Spanish class. I was insecure and selfish, but energetic and driven too.
Mostly I was just young.
"Aren't you bothered when people lie to you?", she asked with steel set deep in her eyes. Her beauty was so ingenuous, faint freckles had strewn themselves across her nose at the first sign of a southern springtime. On her insides, I could see nothing but promise, but she was tired. From her seventeen-year-old worldview, most people were unapologetic liars. Selfish. Simple. Untrustworthy. Her Mom dumped her off at counseling and away she went to do the family's shopping, as if to say, "Just fix her."
M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy. Earns Crossfit participation trophies. Disaster cook. Enthusiastic wife. #Boymom. Clutches her faith, not her pearls.