Excerpts From My Diary: My Childhood Home
I don’t know if you’ve kept a diary, but the best part about it is reading back to what you’ve written ten, twenty, even 23 years later when you were eight and full of hatred of your siblings.
For example, my first diary entry is as follows;
(perhaps I had gotten this diary as an early birthday present, but I had not included that fact at all.)
“I like Adrienne a lot more better than mirissa (not) and my sister Rebecca never lisins to me. And I hate her very much.”
(I had underlined the last sentence, every word, as if to emphasize my hatred. Then this was followed by a furious pencil scribble and a caption that read: pikcher of Rebecca.)
Most of my entries over the years were sparse and just as hateful; I only started writing positive things when the year 2000 happened and I guess my life got a little better. I did not describe a thing about the house I lived in, despite it being a pretty nice house: three floors with a huge back and front yard that I spent hours playing in. I mostly mentioned the books I was reading and the movies I could watch (only Disney G-rated films).
So, when I gave the assignment to describe your childhood home, written in a memoir style, I figured I’d for sure have something from my 30 diaries that are now filling the bottom shelf of my bookcase (well, 2nd to the bottom, cuz the bottom-bottom is where Luna likes to sit) about my house. But, as a kid, especially as a kid who shared a room with her sister all her life, I didn’t spend a lot of time in my room nor did I think about the house as any other place than where I had to go after things were over, like school, or play time. As an adult now when I need to think of a calming place to call my own, I easily think of my own room, surrounded by my books and everything coated in either rabbit fur or hay. Comfy!
What I call “home” truly does currently reflect the childhood home that I was raised in; it was (and still is) full to bursting with books, with bookshelves in every room and books tucked away in drawers, under stuffed animals, and even in the pantry. I always have several books on my bed, because that’s where I read. Books are my form of decoration.
Otherwise, the house is still there, with my parents still living in it. Huge fenced in front yard with a succulent garden and sweeping green lawn. Huge fenced in backyard that may or may not still have the swing set from my childhood but now is infested with hornets and I hope to God my parents got rid of that thing. *shudder* The house itself very much embodies a house; whereas now, as an Israeli, I have been living in apartment buildings with noise and stairs and shared hallways and next-door neighbors banging on the ceiling. Living in a house just leaves you the noises of your own family to deal with. My childhood home has several floors, wide open spaces, and separate bedrooms (once all the older kids left and Rebecca had her pick). Since I’ve grown and come back, I’ve slept in all three of the kids’ bedrooms and my favorite (and warmest) one is my older sister Shana’s, who also has a memory foam pillow in her room and damn is that thing comfy. My childhood home has carpets, top-of-the-line ovens, (plural!) a microwave, an always stocked fridge and a downstairs freezer where we would get our ice cream and also put our weird concoctions we mixed as kids (toothpaste and liquid cleaners and toys) and saw what happened when they froze. Hint: nothing unusual happened when we froze the weird mixtures. They just froze. Science!
I’ve cried many tears in that house, but I’ve also laughed, and hugged, and loved in that house. I learned to bake challah and cookies and chicken. I learned what a lovely childhood I had. And whenever I fly back to visit, it will always still feel that faint remnant of home, the familiarity of the walls, of the grass, and of the books.