What feels like another lifetime ago, Rylan taught me a little lesson about assumption. I’ll never forget sitting in the dining room at the Dairy…he wrote this on a sock “Ass-u-me” and he said “when you assume something you make an ass of yourself, it spells it, say that out loud…” I said “ass uh me….ohhhhhh, I make an ass of me…” I don’t know where he learned that, but it’s pure genius, obviously.
I’m sure at that moment my 16 year old brain was thinking something ridiculous…like “he must not care about me because he wants to hang out with his friends” or some other silly 16 year old girl thing. Hello dummy, of course he wants to hang out with his friends. He is an 18 year old country boy….and I had no idea then that now he’d still be hanging out with ME and about 15 percent of those boys. 😉
As of late I’ve had an assumption slap me in the face like a freight train. Lucky for everyone involved, this is just a slap to my own heart, and doesn’t necessarily involve anyone else. My silly 36 year old brain assumed my childhood home would always be a place I can go, and a place I can call home.
I know a lot of people move out of the homes they grew up in and never look back. But my home is different. My mom moved there when she was 12. That home is the ONLY home I knew as a kid. My grandpa added on most of that rickety old house on West Y Street. The electrical is questionable at best – my brother even tested it with a key once…ZAP…it worked 😉
I met my first friends on that road, some of which I still see from time to time. We played kick the can and rode our mountain bikes on the BMX track behind the house trying to flirt with the neighborhood boys. I had my first sleepover in that house and I camped in the back yard. My favorite cat is buried there and I even planted pennies a long time ago thinking they would grow into money trees. There still aren’t any money trees.
I had all of my Christmases and Birthdays there. The cops even showed up to one because my dad and his friend got in a fight – yep – I know how to party. The only memory I have of my Uncle Ed is in that house. My heart was broken for the first time within those walls. I took a million photos in the front yard with friends and danced in the rain with Rylan in the street. I’ll never forget the time the cops came by when he was dropping me off and made him dump out all of his beer, right in the front lawn.
Not all the memories are roses, but they are all my memories. I remember my dad moving out and Jeff moving in. I remember once sitting on the floor in my room, staring at a bottle of advil wondering if I took ALL of it if it would make me and the pain I felt go away. Thankfully I had a ton of love in my heart that trumped whatever that temporary pain was. I was there when I heard about the 9/11 attacks and I rushed there after that big earthquake we had in nisqually to find a huge crack in the road and various other things damaged inside. I had a fair amount of losing arguments in that house. I lost a gecko in the hollow walls, and an iguana ran away. We had a snake that would constantly escape and a parrot fall ill from cancer. I had hamsters and fish and cats and dogs and birds and even a chinchilla named Chico. I had dial up internet and got caught on the corded phone too late too often. I was grounded often and even left a friend’s younger sister on the front porch once because we didn’t want to take her with us on our adventure.
I could legitimately go on and on about this house that made me who I am. The house on Y street, the old hood and the people there are all the memories that make me smile – even the hard lessons.
So, my whole life I just assumed the house would always be mine. I assumed it would always be a place I can go regardless of everything else…but it turns out, it’s not “my house”. It was my mom’s house and she sold it. I understand why they had to sell it, and I am sure the people who bought it will make something beautiful out of it and someone else will make memories there, but the shock of it belonging to someone else is still resonating.
So, when I say I assumed – I made an ass of myself to myself. Just assuming this home would selfishly belong to me, or someone who would gladly invite me in for coffee and let me tell some of the secrets the walls know.
I’m going to miss being there, I’ll miss the hum of the power lines and the smell of that tiny city. It’s different now, nearly everyone I knew moved away and started lives away from West Y street….we created some great things growing up there, but all good things come to an end eventually. I’m lucky I had such a place to call home, and lucky I had such a loving family and a gob of childhood friends. I’m lucky we played outside till the street lights came on and I had all the freedom in the world to grow to be the adult I am. Thank you Grandma and Grandpa for picking that house, and letting so many of us love and live there.