During my fourth grade year, my grandma and grandpa moved to Billings, Montana. I used to sleep over at her house quite often when they lived in Salt Lake, so my grandma would let me pick out a nightgown to wear out of her drawer. My favorite was a purple nightgown with hand embroidery on neckline. She gave it to me before she moved. I tried to give it back to her, saying that I would need it when I slept over at her house in Montana, but she said if I came to visit her, I would bring a lot of toys and clothes because I would be staying for a long time.
She was right. Stacey and I were sent up to her house in Billings for the entire summer every summer until we were old enough to get jobs. Grandma kept us busy with swimming, tennis, dance, tumbling and baton classes. One year, we took piano lessons too. Summer was filled with activity. I don’t know any other person who was allowed to go swimming almost every day. We were very lucky.
It was scary to leave my parents all summer. I used to be homesick. There would always be a period of adjustment when I accidentally would call for my grandma by saying, “Mom.” There was always a period of adjustment when I came home to Salt Lake, too. I wonder if it ever hurt my mom’s feelings when I would accidentally call her grandma.
When I was trapped in Montana on those long summers, the one pervasive thought in my mind was, “I want to go home.” It was worst during the teen years when I wanted to be out with my friends or meeting boys. Instead, I was still taking baton and tennis lessons just like I had done my whole childhood. Didn’t they know that I was a teenager? I needed something different.
Lately, I find my inner voice saying the phrase, “I want to go home.” I can track the feelings. I’m not happy here. If I just went somewhere else, I would be happy. I know the logic is flawed, but that doesn’t stop the voice inside me from saying that phrase when I’m feeling particularly down. If only I knew where home was, I could run away to it.