The other day I tried to find my childhood house on Google maps. I got very sad when I couldn't find it, I found my aunt's old house which was just a few blocks away from ours, but our house wasn't where I thought It used to be. It felt so long ago, I started to ask myself, had I just made it all up? Did I make up the house and the maid who was my family, did I make up the fact that my family was happy once? Did I make up the fact that I was a happy child for a few short years? Did I make up the pets that I had while living in that house, did I make up the fact that my parents seemed to love each other once upon a time. I felt hurt that this house seemed to be gone, the house with the big bush with purple flowers in the front yard. The house where a happy family once lived has now just disappeared. According to Google maps the street where our house used to be wasn't even in that specific town, how could that be? I followed the road, but even by doing that I couldn't seem to locate my childhood home. After scrambling my brain for about twenty minutes I realized that I kept going in the wrong direction, now everybody who knows me would tell you that directions has never been one of my strong points. Eventually I found my childhood home, but it had changed so much that I didn't even recognize it. It used to be so big, but suddenly it was small, the lawn needed serious mowing and the big bush with the purple flowers was gone, I suddenly felt sorry for the little birds who used to built there nest by our front door, I wondered if the person who took out the bush also destroys the little birds nest every summer, my mother used to take such good care to make sure the nest was protected.Looking at the picture in front of me I took a walk down memory lane, I saw my dad working on his old yellow golf, my mom bringing him something to drink, I saw a happy little girl helping her daddy fix the car, the dad made the little girl think that she was a big help and that he couldn't do it without her, even though she was more in the way than any help. I walked through the house and found the little girls mommy busy sewing in a bright room with a lot of sun shining in through the curtains, while a little green budgie in a cage was singing a happy song. I walked into another room, there was a double bed in the middle of the room a huge white teddy bear was sitting in one corner looking straight at me, almost everything in the room was pink.I went out the back door and saw a huge back yard, there was a big jumping castle and lots of kids sitting on the grass in front of the birthday girl who had a paper crown on her head while she was opening her birthday presents. Suddenly a clown appeared out of no where making handstands and doing cartwheels and all sorts of other very impressive gymnastics tricks. The little girl immediately knew that this was no ordinary clown. She recognized his shoes, it could be no coincidence that the clown had the same shoes as her daddy. Her mommy tried to convince her otherwise, but the little girl knew what she knew and she wasn't going to be convinced, after all she knew her daddy was superman, she knew that he could do all the tricks the clown just did and so much more, she knew he was saving his best gymnastics tricks to show her when all the kids went home.I looked up at the areal on the roof and remembered when I "helped" my dad fix it: I saw the little girl nagging her daddy to let her climb on the roof with him, eventually he gave in and helped her onto his back, he climbed up the ladder with his little girl on his back, when he got to the top of the ladder he told her to climb over his head onto the roof. She did as her daddy had instructed soon after her daddy was also on the roof, he helped her up to the very top point of the roof, she sat watching as he fixed the areal. The little girls mommy came running outside in a panic calling the little girls name, the mommy got very scared when she couldn't find the little girl anywhere, the daddy and the little girl started giggling at the mommy's hysteria, the daddy called the mommy and told her that he had found their little girl, when the mommy saw her little girl on top of the roof, she went into an even bigger hysteria, the daddy and the little girl still amused by the mommy's hysteria, started giggling again, like two naughty children.With tears in my eyes I entered the house again and walked into the kitchen, I saw the little girl sitting on the kitchen chair while her mommy was cooking, the sound of Barbara Ray's country voice coming out of the black radio on the kitchen table. The mommy and her daughter were both laughing and joking. " I don't want to play house" started playing and both of them sang along, the little girl got most of the words to the song wrong, but she loved the song and wouldn't let that stop her from trying to sing louder than her mommy. I thought to myself, If only the little girl knew that this song would become her reality not to far into the future.I decided to take one last walk through the house before I returned to reality. I walked to the opposite side of the house and went into the little girls parents bedroom, I saw the mommy brushing the little girls hair into all kinds of styles, and putting make up on the little girls face, I saw them laughing and playing they both looked so happy, it didn't seem like anything could ever make them unhappy.My eyes filled with tears and I realized that this wasn't the rite place or time for me to open the tear taps, after all I was at work and what if my dad walked into my office, how on earth would I explain these tears to him. So I walked out the front door of my childhood home, quietly I shut the door behind me, as I said good bye, vowing never to go back because even the good memories are to painful to relive. I returned to reality and went back to work, trying to forget the few childhood memories I could still remember.
My parents never drank, they never swore, they were kind of perfect, obviously to perfect no one could seriously be that perfect, but they were. I think that's why things didn't work out between them, when my dad got a chance to loosen up he grabbed it with both hands. After he left my mom got a chance to unwind and find herself. I didn't understand it at that time, I was obviously to small.I couldn't understand how my superman could just walk away. I couldn't understand how my superman could hurt my mom and I so much. How could he just leave me? How could he just turn his back on me and go on with his life? And my mom, how could she leave me alone at home at night while she went out clubbing? They used to protect me, now they were the ones I needed protection from! I was all alone in this big world, I wasn't ready! But I had to grow up so fast because both my parents became children over night. They both started living again, only without each other and without me.I think both my parents needed to go through that time in their lives to become the people that they are now, my mom has really come a long way, she went back to being a teenager, a very troubled rebellious teenager, but If I have to say so myself, I raised that teenager well, because she turned out ok in the end, I think I realise now for the first time that I'll make it as a mother someday, heck I might even be a good one, I raised my mother, and I doubt that my kids would ever be as troubled and rebellious as she was.I never knew my dad in his second teenage phase. Until very recently I still tried to fit my dad into his superman box but he didn't fit anymore, he wasn't the person that I remembered, he wasn't my daddy anymore. I was there every step of my moms transitioning so it never felt like I lost her or like she changed a lot. Whereas with my dad, I knew him as Superman, and when we started to find each other again I realised that he had turned into Lex Luther. That was extremely hard for me to accept, I had placed him on this golden pedestal for my whole life and now I see that he has more faults than most people. I appreciate the opportunity to work at my dad's company more than he will ever know. Not because of the money or perks, but because for the first time since he left, I actually have a relationship with him. The biggest challenge was taking him down from the pedestal, because now I have a chance to get to know my dad (post second teen years). I'm getting to know the real him now, I have a chance to actually built a relationship with the real him now, instead of trying to go on with the relationship I had with Superman-Dad. It's great getting to know him, it's nice to have a second chance at a relationship with him. It's nice to be able to admit that he his a human being that makes mistakes like everyone else, and it's fine because he is human not Superman. My step mom was always the middle man between us, mostly because I didn't feel comfortable discussing anything with him and because she used to know how to handle him better than anyone else did. I feel very grateful for everything that she had done, and I feel grateful that she was the glue that kept my dad and I together for a very long time, I will never forget that without her, this new relationship that I'm building with my dad wouldn't have been possible. And the fact that I'm starting to have a real relationship with my dad now, would never change or effect the bond that I have with her.My parents would never win any awards for the centuries greatest parents, because they really sucked at one point in my life. But that’s what makes them great. The fact that they sucked and probably know they sucked at being my parents for a while. I know my mom feels very guilty for a lot of things that she did wrong in my childhood, but shit happens, and they are both better parents and people now than they were. I think the main thing is that they are humans now, not the snobbish people who never said or did anything wrong, my parents are people who both made mistakes in their lives, they still make mistakes and they aren't afraid to admit it, and because of their mistakes I have the opportunity to learn and become a better person.
Very few kids have a happy childhood. Whether you learn from the mistakes your parents made in your childhood or get stuck in your childhood is your choice.