Maple Leaf Court
It’s where I grew up, really. My family moved there right before I was born. Or was it right after? It doesn’t matter – it’s the home I knew as a child. It’s where I played with Barbies and built Lego masterpieces.
It’s where I learned to dress myself (using eenie, meenie, minie, moe to decide between the Pocahontas dress and boots or the purple silk dress that made me feel fancy). It’s the home I was grounded in for the first time (okay the only time). It’s the home where we brought home Sunny Delight, my first cat (Sunny, for short).
It’s the home where I would discover some of my favorite video games, like Disney World Magic Racing Tour and Tony Hawk. It’s the home where I gawked at my sister for being super cool, making music videos to Dream Street and singing karaoke-versions of JLo and Britney.
It’s the home where we hosted exchange students from Japan and Venezuela and Russia and I learned to try new foods that I didn’t think I liked.
We put our heart and soul into that home – planting trees and doing a massive landscaping project next to our in-ground pool. Watching lemon and avocado trees bloom from seeds, hibiscus plants abound, and grape vines adorn our rock waterfall. We put in grass down the middle and added wood chips to our playground swing-set. We built planter boxes that provided tomatoes and carrots and snap peas galore. I bought ladybugs with my own allowance that I earned from doing chores around the house in order to control our aphid population.
I remember reading all about ladybugs thinking that I should find something really specific to fall in love with and realizing that all the kid books about ladybugs say the same things oversimplified but the adult books were dense and boring. Why was there no in-between? Was there no in-between? Maybe it was there and I dismissed it or didn’t want to look there. Why not?
I was homeschooled my last year or two living in that home and remember experiencing the crisis of 9/11 shutting everything down for a day or two while people were petrified to leave home in fear of a follow up attack. I remember that sensation of fear across American soil transitioning quickly into war-time and how that started to change the way the world looked to such a young girl. Or maybe it’s because over the next few years, my family moved settings – we bought a new house in a new development on the other side of town. We lived in an RV for a summer while it was being built. We were in the process of adopting a younger brother. We moved into the new house, we attended a new school.
In fact, I think I’ve been continuously adjusting since then.