To my childhood home, thank you for being a place where I could take my first steps and thank you for listening to me as I said my first words. My parents watched in awe as I started my journey. One foot turned into one stride and then to a run and jump. One word turned into a phrase and then a sentence and a speech. So young and innocent, with the whole world ahead of me. Thank you for protecting me when I was too young to protect myself.

To my childhood home, thank you for being a place for me to run in the backyard all summer long and a place where my sled could race down the hill in the winter. Thank you for watching me ride my bike for the first time and letting me run though the sprinklers on the front lawn, a smile on my face and the wind in my hair; it made me feel like there was nothing that could stop me. Thank you for allowing me to have fun.

To my childhood home, thank you for being a place where I could build a fort to hide from the monsters or crawl into bed when the thunder shook the whole house; the blankets covered my face and tears dripped down my eyes and the only safety seemed like the roof above my head. Thank you for giving me security when I was scared.

To my childhood home, thank you for being a place where I could celebrate great achievements like birthdays, graduations and holidays. Thank you for opening your doors to hundreds of strangers you've never met and people who felt like family. All in one space, we were able to congratulate college grads, rejoice in living another happy year and memorialize people who couldn't be with us. Thank you for giving me a place to celebrate successes so that I strive to make more.

To my childhood home, thank you for being a place where the outside world can't see how imperfect my family is. The arguments and bickering were masked by your sound proof structure. No one around could hear what was actually happening inside your walls and this ensured the image of the "American Dream" family could stay intact. Thank you for keeping my secrets so I wouldn't have to share them with anyone else.

To my childhood home, thank you for being a place where I learned to strive for greatness. Thank you for giving me the childhood any kid would wish for and the family any kid would dream of. My goals have been set so that I can come back to a house like you for my own family one day: large land, big staircases and a full history to be built. Thank you for letting my dreams come true.

To my childhood home, thank you for being a place I can call home.