Everyone has childhood memories of the home the grew up in. For me, we moved from one side of the city to the other when I was about 10 so I remember 2 childhood homes where my whole family lived, together.
As an adult I have driven past my 1st childhood home. It looks so much smaller these days. There are so many happy memories in that home, riding bikes around the backyard with my siblings, summers watching cricket on telly and having salads and fritz for dinner because it was too hot to cook, my Auntie coming to visit from the Riverland one day with her new car that had pop up lights (we called it Kermit) and her taking us for a ride to the shops in it.
I’ve always been a sensitive sole and when the home was sold and we left for the last time I cried and gave the house a hug.
My parents then built their dream home, 5 bedrooms so all of us kids could have a room of our own. We were all excited, but now as an adult I know just how exciting that must have been for them. My favourite memory of that home was when Mum and Dad were handed the keys we each went into our rooms and our parents had put a Fruit Box drink in there for us. As a family of 6 it was huge to get our own drink, normally we’d have to share.
One by one, each of us kids moved out Mum and Dad downsized to a smaller home. Even though I didn’t grow up there it still feels like home when I visit because that’s where Mum and Dad are.
As the boys and I moved into our new home earlier this year I tried to create some special memories for them as well. Just as my parents did 29 years earlier once I got the keys I left a special treat in the boys new bedrooms. We had take away for our first meal and camped in the lounge room together before our furniture arrived. Of course the boys loved it.
Recently though it’s dawned on me that my children will have very different memories of their childhood and childhood home.
I noticed that my 9 year old, 6 year old and 2 year old never use the word “home” when referring to where they live. It’s always Mums house or Dads house.
I tried explaining to them that they’re very lucky as they have 2 homes but my sensitive 6 year old says Dads house doesn’t feel like home as I don’t live there anymore and my house doesn’t feel like home as Dad’s not there.
It is heartbreaking to think that this is their norm now.
Whilst I’m sure they’ll have some incredible memories to look back on, some will be painful for them. Many of their memories won’t involve me or involve their father. There will be parts of their lives I will be missing from and I hate that. This isn’t what I signed up for when I became a mother.
Unfortunately though, this is increasingly the norm these days. Whilst the pain of our family separating is still very fresh and raw, that is probably why the children don’t yet feel comfortable referring to each of their houses as a “home”, my hope is that one day they will see they have their 2 loving homes and how lucky they are. One day they are going to reflect on their childhoods and remember many happy moments, some with Dad, some with Mum and maybe as time passes some with Mum and Dad together.
One day when they reflect on me, this is what I hope they think:
I try darling boys, every day I give it my all, for you ❤