I had a chance to go home this weekend.
And by “home”, I don’t mean where I was born, or even the town that I graduated high school from. The little town is a place that I lived in, off and on, for a few years. A place that taught me a lot of lessons in my life, both good and bad.
I made friends, made mistakes, found love, lost it, and learned a million things about life, parenting, and friendship there. I had some of my best, and worst, years in this town.
I was the conflicted, angry girl in this town.
I was a partying, laughing, screaming-through-the-night girl in this town.
I was a single mom in this town.
I have a lot of my fondest memories in this town, and some of my worst nightmares.
All three of my children were born in this little town.
The town seems smaller now, not quite as I remember it, but that’s normal. Because, it was never really about the town.
It was always about the people there.
And, even though many years have passed since I spent any real time there, when I went back tonight, it was with those fond memories coloring my thoughts.
I was going today, to deliver some of EldestDaughter’s stuff to her. She’s living in this little town now, pulling her life into something that she can be proud of. I know that this place can help her do that. It worked for me.
And, I also went today, to have dinner with one of my dearest, oldest friends. My best friend from highschool, who was such an influence on so many areas of my life. A woman who helped me figure out that there was more to life than what I was raised to believe. That I could forge my own path through life, and have a blast doing it. She was in town for a family function, and we arranged to get together with our daughters for supper.
And, it was amazing. The road trip was just something I needed to lift my spirits, after this last few days and weeks. Listening to loud music, driving down the road, and a comfortable silence with YoungerDaughter, punctuated with moments of laughter, was just what I needed in that moment.
And, after hanging out at Elder’s apartment for a while, Younger and I drove around town, revisiting some of the old haunts, and remembering a lot of those good times. A little shopping and a lot of memories.
When supper time rolled around? We went to the restaurant and started harassing ElderDaughter, as she works there. The restaurant was empty, in anticipation of the supper rush, so we sat and chatted with Elder for a little while longer, before my friend and her daughter got there.
The food? Was just as I remembered, normal, small town restaurant stuff. Good. The service? Well, since it was ElderDaughter… what can I say? She was funny, trying not to hover, but doing just what she was supposed to. I watched her skip from table to table as people started coming in, and things got busy. She was a pro, and I was proud of her.
The company? Priceless. I laughed so hard, I think I had my friend’s daughter worried for a minute, as I had tears streaming down my face, and had to wipe my eyes more than once. I was seriously in danger of losing my french fries over some stories that were told. Many of which, by the way, I did not remember, but others remembered about me. Frightening!
And when the evening was over, it was… a little sad to think about, but… not too bad. Because I knew that even though we were all going our separate ways, for now, that I could always find my way there again. Not to that town, or to that restaurant, but to those times, those people, that laughter.
I just have to follow the road home.