Around mid-last year, 2016, I went and visited an Old Home. I lived there from the age of 4 until I was about 11, which makes that about around the year 2002. Since 2002, I have never been back. I really had no need to, I loved my new house (which is the house my parents still live at). Me and my siblings had our own rooms, huge living room space, and a large backyard to run around in. The neighborhood was clean and quiet; a cookie cut suburb. Our family always dreamed of having our own home and this home was that home.
So there was no need to go back to this Old Home. It was just a labyrinth of apartments. All the same long rectangle, with the same lighthouse shaped glass arch to welcome you. But here I was, with my brother, standing in the parking lot of our Old Home. We were there when the asphalt we stood on were first applied, but now it was blemished with pot holes and trash was scattered like freckles. Buildings had cracks, and a lot of the amenities looked as if the owners gave up hope on it. Its hard to say if the Old Home was always like this, glamorized by child innocence or if it was just an evidence of time. Either way, everything felt so familiar, almost as if I never left. We walked around and pointed at old memories and just relived those 7 years one more time.
I remembered the games of manhunt that use to be played within a half mile diameter. I remembered housing my neighbors cat so that she could give birth to her kittens. I remembered the kittens dying of hypothermia because they left them outside while it rained. I remembered the haircuts and the stash of playboys I found when I got those haircuts. I remembered my first crush in the neighborhood and my first group of bullies. I remembered the times my bike always got stolen from our porch. I remembered that this place meant a lot to me, that it was where half of my memory came from. Honestly, I missed it and I was happy to be back.
We never got to meet the family that lived in our old space, but we did get to meet the family that lived right underneath. The family moved from Nigeria recently and this was their first home in the states. A family of seven kids, each one just as curious as the next, beautiful and energetic. We played and took pictures (one kid grabbed my brothers phone and made him chase him).
It was amazing to be back, and relive the memories and build new ones even though it was brief. I hope that the kids we met are able to build amazing memories as I did when I was there. And one day be able to call it their Old Home.