I was at my parents house the other day and somehow ended up in my old room. Most of my stuff is gone, and the room no longer looks like it did when I lived there. All that is left of me is the big, antique cast iron bed I slept in from when I was 14 and the light, khaki green walls I painted when I was 20. As I sat on the bed, I tried imagining what it looked like and felt like when I occupied the room. The walls are pretty much bare now, except for the holes left from hanging Hanson posters, mirrors, frames, & shelves holding trinkets of all sorts.
I remember the first time I moved out. I was heading up to college and only took clothes and a few accessories to decorate my dorm room with, but my real room was always at my parents house. The second time I moved out was when I was 23. I had started a new job, ended an old relationship, and was ready to be on my own. I moved my bedroom from my parents house, to my little studio apartment downtown, and made my bed there for 6 months. Right after I moved out, I met Andrew, and 6 months later, I was back in my parents house planning a wedding. A year later, I moved out indefinitely as a newly married woman.
Most everything is at my house now, except for one box that I left in my closet. My "memory" box as I like to call it. Old dance pictures, graduation tassels, year books, and childhood toys reside in that box. I'm not sure why I didn't take it with me when I moved. I think there were so many memories and memorabilia from my childhood and adolescence stored in that box that it felt right to leave it at home, where those memories were made. As I went through the box, I found my old jewelry box, and oh, the memories that came to me upon seeing the treasures inside!
The shotgun shell I picked up off the ground after my grandpa's funeral, my first birthstone necklace that I received on my 8th birthday, the old, tattered ballerina from my old jewelry box, my mom's Girl Scout pin that she passed onto me when I was a Brownie, my mom's childhood Disneyland charm bracelet, watch, class ring, and random bits of old jewelry my grandma gave me when I was 10.
I also found the first note I remember my mom writing me. Growing up, we always wrote notes to each other. Notes of encouragement, thankfulness, apologies, and as I got older, notes of advice and the passing along of motherly wisdom. I remember getting random notes from my mom at girls camp, in my lunch at school, or finding one laying on my bed when I got home from a late night out with a boyfriend.
This particular note was written when I was about 10 or 11. I was in Merry Miss at the time, which was a group at our church for pre-adolescent girls. We'd have weekly activities and every year we'd have a "Mom and Miss" activity. My mom was in charge of the Mom and Miss party, and as the party started, I patiently waited for her to occupy the empty seat next to me as soon as she helped everyone get situated. She finally sat down as we ate lunch, but it was only brief. As soon as lunch was done, my mom was up helping everyone assemble their craft projects. The party was lovely, and my mom and put so much effort into it, but as I sat along, looking around at the other mother and daughters working on their projects together, my pre-teen emotions caught up with me, and I ran inside the house crying. My mom came and found my crying on my bed, and I knew she felt bad she couldn't sit with me the entire time, but I cried and cried that it was unfair. Later that day, I found a note written on a napkin from the party with a little present.
This is for helping me with the mom and miss party- I don't know what I would have done without you! You are such a great girl. I love you so much. Thank you for being you!
Love, Mom xoxo"
I don't remember what the present was, but do remember crying again, but this time, from feeling so loved.
I'm so glad I was a nostalgic child and saved all of these things! It was so fun reminiscing over the items I pulled out, and I encourage you to do the same! Find something from your childhood and write about it, then leave a comment so I can read about it too!