To The House That Built Me
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To The House That Built Me

Inspired by Miranda Lambert's "The House That Built Me."

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To The House That Built Me
Baktana

In my childhood bedroom, stark against the ocean blue wall right as you walk in near the bottom border, there is a picture of Caspar the Friendly Ghost that I painted with white finger paint when I was a young girl. On the ceiling are monster truck stickers and scribbles, connect-the-dot portraits made with expired bingo dabbers and Sharpie drawings. The door reads “Exit to Serve!” - which I wrote in permanent marker my sophomore year of high school. Embedded in the carpet is thick lime green paint, a tangible remnant of a time when my biggest worries were petty fights with my brother and sister, such as the one that led to that particular stain.

In my front yard, there is a tree, a magnificent Maple, the strong and solid guardian of my childhood. After lunch, in the young summer heat of my childhood, all the kids in our area were unleashed upon the neighborhood, to run wild and free and uninhibited, blind to the problems of the world, our mouths stained popsicle-red and our legs covered in Spiderman Band-Aids. For hours, armed with plastic handcuffs and water balloons and baseball gloves, we played. When the sun began to set and the streetlights blinked off, we all went our separate ways. No longer were we cowboys or princesses or aliens, but ourselves, full of the dreams that childhood play fostered inside of us; that we didn’t have to pretend to be heroes, we could BE heroes.

My dad built the deck in our back yard with his bare hands. That deck has seen countless barbecue cookouts, Easter egg hunts, afternoon conversations, and crab-apple baseball games. One winter, we got about six to eight inches of snow, and then a layer of ice froze over top of that. I was small enough to run around on top of it, but my brother could only move across it on his knees. There are few moments in my life when I’ve felt taller than I did in those moments.

A slideshow of images moves through my mind when I think of my house: My mom in the kitchen, pulling rolls out of the oven on Thanksgiving. My dad in a Santa’s hat, sitting at the tree and handing out presents at Christmas time. Playing video games with my brother downstairs in the basement as kids. Coming home from elementary school every day and throwing my book bag against the wall and taking off my shoes before grabbing a snack and settling in to watch "Lilo and Stitch" and "Kim Possible" on Disney Channel. Thousands of moments to remind me of happiness.

That house has watched me grow up. It’s met all my friends and harbored all my secrets. It’s been with me through all the phases of my life and it just feels like safety to me. I’m lucky to have lived in the same house my whole life, with a family who cares about me and supports me and wants me to be the best possible version of myself. Lucky to have had shelter and love. To have shelter and love. I cherish thousands of memories all tied to this one place, and I’m blessed to have every single one of them – even the bad ones. From pets to proms and Gerber to graduations, so much of who I am was shaped in my childhood home, and I’ll never stop being thankful for that.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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