I’ve moved a lot in my life. A lot. I recognize that part of what makes me forever a person on the outside looking in is that I have never had a home, as it were. Trees grow roots and stay there for a long time. Oh, the lovely things that one tree can bring to a whole place. The shade in the summer, the colorful changes of the seasons. It can be climbed and carved into. It can be stared at. Swings can be hung from it. Unless it gets root rot or some angry neighbor makes you cut it down, those trees can live a long time. I wish my life had been shaped around a tree. Instead, I have drifted, like the seeds from a weed – coming off of this plant, floating over to another place, somehow taking root temporarily. Eventually, for whatever reason, usually because it didn’t belong there, it’s ripped up again, its seeds sent adrift.
As a single mother I didn’t want an endless parade of men nor of places to define my daughter’s early life. I’ve almost succeeded with half of that. I did finally shut the door on the relationships after a particularly disastrous one. But our home has changed many times. We’re not in a place longer than four years or so. We’ll be moving again in a couple of weeks. It isn’t a big move. The last three moves have been in the same part of town but just a different place. First a roomy two bedroom, then briefly a cramped one bedroom, then a roomy two bedroom and now we’ll be moving to a cramped but very pretty two bedroom. The main reason for all of these changes has been the cost of living.
Before that, when my daughter was small, we moved three or four times because of a relationship. If I ever decide to do that again, it will be the last time.
But I don’t think my daughter has ever really lost a sense of home. No, she has an unusual upbringing. Her “home” has always been with me. It would probably have been a lot worse for her if she’d been swapped around from person to person. But you know, we’re resilient, we human beings are. And I know, in our own messed up ways, my daughter and I are still fortunate people compared to many on this earth. We all know that there is a kind of “right way” one is supposed to live one’s life. So you know, we’re not “right.” So what?
I have to believe that with self-confidence, a talent for writing and a passion for reading, not to mention good looks, my daughter will do okay. We have to work on the whole boy thing, the relationship thing. At least I know she has a good one with me and maybe that will help her on down the line. Maybe?
For my part, I knew I would never be one of those “right living” types. I was born on the Island of Misfit Toys and I will forever remain there. That doesn’t bother me most of the time. Most of the time.