After quickly throwing on sweaters, Isabella and I walked down to the mailbox with Lovie tonight. It was right at dusk, so everything was that deep shade of navy blue. As we were walking the sounds and smells of November surrounded us and wrapped their chilly arms around us like a hug. Just smelling the cold wet leaves and feeling the nip in the air against my cheeks took me straight back to when I was a kid. (was that really just a few short years ago?!)
Playing outside until it was too dark to see anymore, I would make my way back to the house with my pants soaked around the bottom with evening dew and a set of chapped cheeks and lips. The house would be warm and full of dinner smells, the dog would be wondering around, hoping for spills, and my sisters would be bustling about gossipping, helping, bickering...There would nearly always be a general to-do about how filthy I was and how I smelled like cow pasture...but then Daddy would walk in from work and there would be no time to fool with it. The fire would crackle and pop away in the background as we ate and discussed Christmas ideas or school activities...Later in the evening before bed, mom would rub lanolin on my chapped face, I still remember the sticky texture on my face and the thick oily smell...the next day my freshly healed face would be ready for another long, chilly evening of play.
As I held Isabella's warm, squirmy little body while we walked, I wondered what childhood memories she would be longing for eighteen, twenty years down the road. Would she see home the way I see it? as her safe haven, the fondest time of her life? I hope so...I strive for as much. Maybe in twenty years, she'll be holding a little squirmy body of her own, and I'll be walking behind her, snapping pictures, relishing a moment, holding on to a memory for dear life.