How Will It Affect The Children?

James Lileks reflects on living at Jasperwood:

Ordinary day, with some exciting developments I will relate in exactly 32 days. It’s Daughter’s birthday on Friday – she’s 21 now. Considering embarassing her on Twitter about it.

Odd how it seems like a long time ago, and also not. Why? Perhaps because we never moved. Jasperwood has provided an endless series of unremarkable constants. The sound of the gate latch, the way the drawer in the hallway makes a squeak when pulled out or shoved in. The same dining room for all the big family events. The same bedroom, which she left with things that represent her now, and also make me recall an array of plastic My Little Ponys on the windowsill. It’s all there, 21 years, just behind the most recent tick of the clock.

That means his daughter has basically grown up with a childhood home. I wonder how that affects one’s psyche.

I mean, in my first twenty-one years, I went from apartment->housing projects->living with friends for a couple months before decamping to Missouri after my parents’ divorce->living in my aunt’s basement->living in the trailer park->living in down the gravel road->living in my father’s basement for college. To finish out the streak, as an adult I moved back into the house down the gravel road after college->living in my other aunt’s empty house with my mother->getting a place of my own->rental house after marriage->the house in Casinoport for seven years->the house in Old Trees for three years->Nogglestead.

My beautiful wife has a similar history as her father got a job in government service when he was younger, so promotions took them around Michigan and later down to Missouri.

I wonder if our children have a greater sense of security than I ever developed, what, with an intact family and a single home that they remember (although they see pictures of themselves in Old Trees, they don’t remember it).

We haven’t even changed it a whole lot–the carpeting, old as it was, is still what we inherited, and we have not rearranged the furniture much at all because large furniture pieces and bookshelves kind of dictate the layout. So not only is it the same house, it mostly looks the same as it has for most of their youth.

At any rate, that’s something I muse on, and since Musings is right in the title of this blog (and has been for seventeen and a half years, longer than my children have been alive but not by much), I thought I’d share it.

Lileks’ Bleat today also hints at big changes coming on September 1; given the wistful, reflective, and nostalgic/melancholic tone, I’m betting he’s moving to Arizona or wherever. What do the oddsmakers in Las Vegas say?

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories