Monday, February 9, 2015

Once a brat, always a brat

I thought I'd share a little insight about myself, something I've discovered in the last week or so.

I was an Air Force brat from the day I was born. And I'm damn proud of it. Before my father retired, I'd lived in South Carolina, Spain, Arizona, South Carolina, West Virginia, Louisiana, and North Carolina. Had my father not retired when he did, our next stop would have the Philippines. Instead, it was Pennsylvania.

No matter where we lived, my mother made our house into a home. The Air Force isn't known for its celebration of architecture or interior design. Look up and down the block and the same finite number of styles are repeated. No matter what our house looked like on the outside, inside was ours for as long as we lived there. Special pieces carried special memories that made every place a home. I always felt at home. My mom rocked at giving us a home.

As a result of moving and the positive experiences that went with the moves, I always thought I didn't have any ties to any particular house. That the structure wasn't as important as the people in it. Any place could be a home with love and family in residence.

But I've learned something about myself. There are two houses that were my "home base" as I grew up. Places that never changed. Places were I knew what to expect whenever we showed up. Places where I knew who to expect.

Where were these amazing places? The homes that managed to capture me in a way no other place could? They were my grandparents' homes in West Virginia and New York.

Recently, I had to go to New York to go through my grandparents' house. My uncle lived in it for the 30 years since my grandparents passed, but it was still my grandparents' house. I walked around sharing memories with my husband and my brother-in-law. When all they wanted to do was pack up what I wanted and get out of New York. When all I wanted to do was sit on the couch and remember all the wonderful memories.

But what I couldn't understand was why this was hitting me so hard. After all, my grandparents have been gone for 30 years and my uncle made changes to make the house his own.

As I processed and focused, I realized the importance my grandparents' houses had on me growing up. And my much younger Air Force brat self still clings to them and what they were and what they meant. And I'm OK with that.

We are all products of our childhood. Mine started out as a part of an amazing culture. I wouldn't change that for anything. Part of my childhood snuck into my present and gave me an opportunity to learn a little more about myself and the impact being a brat has had on me. And I'm glad it did.

So share! Have you lived in many places? The same place? Do you have a favorite?

Happy reading!!


1 comment:

  1. Hi Felicia! Great post! Your mom sounds like an angel :) I've moved around the state I live in, but not too much. The hubs and I ended up settling where he grew up, lol.