Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a post full of terrible photos from the 80’s and 90’s of a small me. Besides, there aren’t many photos of me without my brothers, and I don’t know how they’d feel about their photos being on this blog – or finding out that this blog exists! A lot of the stuff that I write on here is about bad memories from childhood, the things that I realise now had a negative impact on my life or my mental health. But those things are such a tiny part of my childhood, for the most part it was amazing.
I grew up on a street where the only reason you left was because you died – yes, it was full of old people, but that didn’t bother me, well, maybe sometimes when school friends played with loads of kids on their street and I didn’t. For the most part though, being one of very few children surrounded by a bunch of oldies was great! They absolutely loved talking to you and always told you how lovely you were. The people on that street saw my parents move in with a baby and a toddler, my mum pregnant with me and two young boys to look after, me as a newborn, a child, a tween, a teen and an adult. They saw my family break down. They saw me go through troubled times and probably heard me roll in at 4am a few times, they saw me pull myself together and go off to uni, they saw me come back with a first class degree and they saw me move down South to be with the man I love. What’s more, some of them have even met Oliver and R – they saw me become a mother.
That’s why when I saw this photo I felt a sudden wave of emotion. I suddenly felt like I wanted to be there, that I miss being there and that I wish I could go back just one last time, but I can’t. My parents sold the house last summer – it marked the end of a very troubled period for my family, yet it holds such amazing memories. 30 years of memories for my family. I wish that Oliver could go there and remember it, so that he could see that a family unit so dysfunctional was once so happy and so normal, so oblivious to the realities of life, realities of what the future would bring for us.
But for now, it’s my turn to make Oliver’s memories as happy as mine were, or even happier. I hope that a picture of our lovely little house in 25 years time can evoke such emotion in him, where he remembers all of the crazy things he did, the trouble he got in to and the neighbours doting on him. I want his memories from childhood be something to look back on and smile about.
Now is our time.
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