Today’s Prompt: Where did you live when you were 12 years old? Which town, city, and country? Was it a house or an apartment? A boarding school or foster home? An airstream or an RV? Who lived there with you?
Can I be honest? I’m not totally sure I remember where we were living that year. We moved around a lot when I was young, and by a lot I mean once or twice a year. I realize now, as a grown woman, that my mom must have had some sort of good reason for this constant moving around. Surely she wouldn’t have put me through the incessant packing, uprooting me from school after school, constantly leaving people places and sometimes pets behind without good reason.
But maybe she didn’t. If there was ever a reason, she never shared it with me.
What resulted was a very fluid childhood, in which there were very few constants. Except the town. I was born in Connecticut, and we spent a year in North Carolina. But the rest of my life, I’ve lived in Butler, Pennsylvania.
For someone who spent most of her childhood either packing or unpacking boxes, there’s a comfort in this. I can see the hospital where my daughter was born from my bedroom window. My first job is here, and so is my first good job. People know me here. Some people even like me here. I take my kids to the coffee shop I used to stop at after school with my friends. I walk down Main Street, where there’s still a Burger Hut that my mom used to work at. We lived right above it, in this crappy little apartment.
We lived in a different crappy little apartment on Main Street when my mom managed a greek restaurant for her boyfriend, that’s now a chinese restaurant where I took my older daughter for her fourth birthday. (After taking her to the Carnegie Science Center, of course. No four year old wants to go to a chinese place for her birthday.)
I walk past the junior high I went to when I was twelve, every day on my way to work. It’s across from the Catholic church my great grandmother attended. The only time I was ever in it was for her funeral.
So, where was I living when I was twelve? In Butler, and that’s all that really matters.