An old friend told me the other day that her family is selling the house she grew up in, the house I have visited more times over the years than I can count.
The house where we had a plethora of sleepovers that resulted in giggles, movie marathons, walks in the woods, deep and serious conversations, glasses of chocolate milk and plates of vegetarian chicken nuggets.
So when this friend invited me over one last time before they sell the house, my heart broke along a fault line that I didn’t know was there.
I grew up in that house, too.
Have visited it even long after we both have graduated from high school and moved on.
So losing this house, losing the many acres of woods around it is like losing a part of myself. A part of my childhood.
And so the realization that my childhood is fully a thing of the past, that the places that formed it and shaped it and molded it are being lost to time, lost to distance–that realization quaked my entire being, cracking my heart along the faults of knowing I’m a grown adult but not necessarily wanting to sacrifice the inner kid.
Having a taste of independence, knowing that I am strong and capable and can be on my own and do things on my own–it’s great.
But the feeling of independence and capability and self-confidence, as great and freeing as it is, still falls short of that feeling of the wind in my hair as my friend and I would stand up in the back of their ATV, holding onto the bars as we flew past trees and soared over hills and saw the occasional deer running in the distance.
Oh, to be free . . . to be a child and carefree once again.
I may be losing a beloved memory of my childhood–but what is not lost is the inner kid that ran amuck so often on those lands.
And that . . . that is what I will hold onto as I navigate these new-found faults in my grown-up heart.