When I was little, 4 or 5, my family lived in a cute house that has afforded me fond memories. For my mom and dad it was definitely a step down, a fixer upper. They had "built" a beautiful home but got in over their heads and had to move to something more realistic for their pocketbook. As as child I thought their disappointment was my fairy tale. I remember sitting in the front hall in a window seat I thought was just made for me to read my books and daydream. My bedroom, by their account, had a terrible ceiling and to camouflage it Mom wallpapered it with a dark navy background and white stars. Their cover-up was my bed under the stars. We moved from there when I was five but to a neighborhood not very far away and when I was in my early teens, as kids did in those days, I made friends with someone who lived in my childhood house. So I had the chance to see inside and relive my memories. What a shock! My recollections, well, were not really accurate, but what a grand opportunity to see that house with grownup eyes. What follows is what that experience was like.
BIG & LITTLE
by Patty Lynn
When I was just a little girl
Of three or four or five,
The house I lived in was unique,
A taller house than wide.
In fact, to me, this little girl
Resembled ones I'd seen
Within the pages of my books
And sometimes in my dreams.
I aptly called it, secretly,
My Mother Goose house, mine,
Sat on a hill with peaked roof.
And "Mother" thought it fine.
A house for Mother Goose and me
Just like in fairy tales.
You'd have to search both far and wide,
Across both hills and dales...
To find a house as rare as this,
The envy of the block,
But wait there's more inside my house,
Now give the door a knock...
And once inside you'll see the stairs
That lead up to my room,
A window seat for me to sit
From morning until noon.
I love to sit there, read my books
Imagining tall tales
Of princesses and fairies, too,
Of dolphins and blue whales.
Just keep on going in my house,'
My living room is next,
With curvy corners, never square,
Sit down and be my guest.
Let's go into my kitchen,
We'll have a little treat.
Do you believe how big it is?
Come in and take a seat.
So glad you came to visit me
And saw my huge, grand house.
It's just so big sometimes I feel
As little as a mouse.
Then as a grown-up I went back
To see my childhood home.
My Mother Goose house was still there,
But wasn't what I'd known.
For this is true, your memory's skewed
A contrast in a riddle:
What changes size but stays the same?
Things seem big when you're little!