EVERYTHING'S BIG WHEN YOU'RE LITTLE
This is a story about a long-ago house, my favorite house. I lived there when I was five. That house was such a special place. It wasn’t like any house I'd ever seen. In fact, the best word to describe it is, UNIQUE, even from the outside.
It had a pointy roof that reminded me of a house Mother Goose might live in. It sat on a little hill and had a small porch with a tiny roof over it, just big enough to protect you if it was raining or snowing. The front windows had a crisscross pattern on the very top, something I'd never seen before. Just inside the front door, you’d see my favorite spot, my window seat! I loved to sit there on sunshiny-days and read my books. It made me feel all warm inside!
It was a HUGE house and the living room and dining room had rounded walls with rounded corners! The kitchen was gigantic with cupboards that went all the way up to the ceiling! Even grown-ups needed a kitchen ladder to reach the top shelves, a perfect place to store things you didn't use every day.
My second favorite place was my Mom and Dad’s bedroom because Mom had wallpapered the ceiling! Sounds funny, doesn't it? But it wasn't only unique for that reason. That wallpaper had a dark-blue background with lots and lots of stars! I remember taking my naps in there and pretending I was outside looking up at the night sky and counting all those stars!
It's funny really. I'm all grown up now and I still have such special memories of that house even though something happened many years later that could have changed that, forever.
One summer’s day, when I was fourteen, I had a chance meeting at the corner grocery store. Stores like that are almost non-existent today but little stores were commonplace back then. It was just a store that the neighborhood people would go to when they needed some milk or bread or eggs.
On this particular day I met a girl who was about my age and we started talking. We asked each other about where we went to school and she asked me where I lived. When I asked her, she told me she lived just up the block. I said, “I used to live in a little white house up the block.” She asked, “The one with the pointy roof?” “That's the one,” I said. “That’s my house!” she answered and we both laughed.
I told her how much I loved that house and much to my surprise, she asked if I’d ever like to see my old house again. “Of course,” I told her. “I’d love to!” and we exchanged phone numbers. I was thrilled when she called! Between the two of us, we figured out a time it was convenient with her parents and mine and set a date. When that day finally arrived, I was beside myself with excitement! Just having a chance to see my favorite house again was a dream come true. Slowly I walked up to the front door and rang the bell. She came to the door and I walked in.
At that moment, all my memories started quickly rushing back. How strange it was to be back there again, like stepping back in time. The furniture was different, of course, but the rooms my Mother wallpapered, the walls she and Dad had painted green hadn’t changed. But…as I walked through the house…it became very clear that the memories of my five-year old self couldn't prepare me for this!
Those memories were of a big house with large rooms, a huge kitchen with cupboards that went up to the ceiling…but what I found was…that my forever-loved house with the window seat and rounded walls was actually very, very…small. Seeing it now, I would have described it as a quaint, cute, LITTLE, house, not at all the HUGE house I remembered.
After my brief tour, I thanked my new friend and slowly walked home. Still reeling from the shock of seeing my favorite house as almost an adult, I made a promise to myself. That promise was always to keep those five-year-old's memory of my much-loved house as they had always been, tucked safely away in my heart. I learned an important lesson that day. Everything’s BIG…when you’re LITTLE!