When I was growing up I knew that we didn't have a lot of money. What we had didn't compare to most of my classmates. My maternal aunt, however, appeared to have married well. The few memories I have of her house in Mount Juliet led me to believe that she and her family much be rich. Upon hindsight as an adult, I realize that they were actually middle class. Still better off finanically than my family but not the fairy tale wealth I thought I was seeing.
I remember as a child being in her house and wanting to live in a beautiful place just like it. It was a split story ranch with a garage and rec room in the basement. The main level was the kitchen, livingroom, den, etc. The bedrooms were upstairs. Most amazing to me was that there was more than one bathroom! It was just another ordinary house in a suburban neighborhood - nicely decorated and uncluttered. But to me, it seemed "real fancy". My step-father acted like they were putting on airs to have a house like that. Truth is, they were just a normal middle class family in the 1970's. When I was a child, this was a major dream to aspire to.
While unpacking (and,yes, I am STILL unpacking boxes) I looked around and realized, much to my surprize, that I had actually, truly reached that childhood dream. I live in a modified one story ranch on a cul du sac in the middle of this town's suburbs. I live in middle class suburbia! It struck me one day as I drove into the entrance of our community on trash day. All the cans were out at the curb in roughly the same position. All the houses in their rows conformed to the home owners' association rules, keeping their grass mowed and their yards uncluttered. I was awestruck, unable to fantom how this had happened to me. How had I come all this way? Yet it still didn't feel as though I had "arrived" anywhere.
It is odd to look back at the dreams of my childhood - a good middle class home, a safe environment, a loving family, a career in story telling/creating - and see what I've actually accomplished. As a teenager, college student, and young wife/mother my dreams had shifted constantly and had continually seemed out of reach. But those dreams formed in childhood play (with dolls, pretend and dress-up, early stories) they took root and are now beginning to bloom.
|Landscaping leading to my front porch. Beautiful!|
I'm not rich. I don't live in a Victorian mansion. I'm average middle class with a mortgage and debts. It doesn't feel as special as it did when I was an awestruck child. It does feel comfortable and I certainly want to get used to it. Welcome to my enchanted suburbia where I hope to make the rest of my childhood dreams come true!