This week my boys and I went home ... to my home in LaFollette, which my parents built when I was two years old and where they have lived ever since. It's a trip we frequently make, as we're blessed to live only an hour from them, and it is a joy to watch the boys play there.
As I was tucking Reed in on Wednesday night, I said, "Do you know whose bed this used to be?" It was mine throughout my childhood, with the neighboring twin bed occupied many years by my sister (until she moved into her own room next door). I looked around the room and remembered playing in that space, running down the hall, hiding behind the door to the den and peeking through the crack to see what Mom and Dad were watching on tv.
Now it is my boys turn. They had some "spy gear" with them on this trip, so they attached the "lock" to their bedroom door. Anytime one of us would try to open it, an alarm would blast and I could hear them whisper and giggle behind the door. Papers slid out from the crack under the door with secret messages written in code, and when one ventured out, he had to give the password to reenter.
I have vivid memories of playing at my grandparents' house when I was a child ... the sight of my grandmother, Amma, standing in her small kitchen cooking chicken and dumplings or homemade biscuits. My grandfather reclining in his large red leather chair or sitting at the dining table, mixing his molasses and butter with a fork for those homemade biscuits. I can recall the knick-knacks on the shelves, the cherry-scented Jergens lotion in the bathroom, and the big tree out front that we climbed on.
I watch my boys sneaking through the halls of my childhood home, up to some mischief, or enacting some battle or adventure in the yard, and it makes me smile. I know that Seth and Reed will always recall the smell of this house, the sight of BaBa on his mower, the expectation of MiMi in her kitchen, and the deep sense of home that they feel when they are here.