A lot of different emotions and mental pictures come to mind when I think of that word. What is home? Four walls with a roof and rooms… pictures of memories and the people that live there? I’ve been thinking about home the past few days, what it was, has been and what it is now.
The thing I remember most from home as a child is stair landings. The houses changed throughout the years, and sometimes that stair landing was just a bend in a hallway, but that landing/bend in the hallway, was home.
When I was little, if I was upset, angry or somehow not what my mom wanted to deal with, I was sent to my room and told I couldn’t come down until I was ready to act the way I was supposed to. It was never about the why. Why was I upset, sad, angry or whatever? The why never seemed to matter.
I remember for years my mom boasting about how I always just went to my room until I could calm down…like it was some big accomplishment of hers somehow. She loved to tell the story of how it all started. With me, at age 4, getting upset about being teased by my parents, and storming up to my room with my parents laughing at me all the way there.
So up I went to my room, and I remember that landing…the turn in the stairs where my mom couldn’t see me anymore, where I was allowed to finally feel the way I actually felt. I spent a lot of time in my room over the years. I learned from a very early age that whenever I couldn’t smile and act like everything was perfect…when I couldn’t hold the façade in place anymore, I went to my room.
The smile, the façade, just needed to hold until I got to that stair landing or bend in the hallway. Then I could be me. I was allowed to cry, or be hurt, or angry, or frustrated…and sometimes just peaceful. I would shut my bedroom door and sit silently until I was able to slip the façade back into place and hold it there.
Until I was able to pretend I felt exactly how I was supposed to feel, be what I was supposed to be.