Most of my childhood memories involve summertime. Wet swimsuits piled in our laundry basket along with the once-a-week church outfit. We would all file into mom's suburban in the beach parking lot to wait out the afternoon thunderstorms and emerge 20 minutes later to an empty beach, wet sand, warm water. The perpetual hot, sticky breeze coming off the lake that smelled like boat exhaust and mowed grass. Walking home from my best friend's house in the almost-dark to a deafening symphony of crickets and bullfrogs.
We're living less than 30 minutes away from the home I grew up in, accidentally. It's been almost 5 years since we moved here and I've felt so ambivalent about it. So hesitant to love it. Your hometown is like family, you know? It can be hard to see past the gaping flaws and appreciate the good.
But lately I watch my kids fling themselves into the water like dried-up fish. With dark tan lines and smelling like sunscreen that never has a chance to fully wash off. We hid in the car during a storm yesterday and ate our soggy sandwiches and scratched our mosquito bites and explained to Stella the logistics of why alligators can't climb into canoes. I kiss their wet little foreheads and spend my evenings sweeping sand out of the kitchen.
The more time I spend here the more I realize this old town is as good as any other. And I'm thankful for it. The same sort of gratitude you feel towards your parents after you reach adulthood. Suddenly the empathy you were lacking in your younger years catches up to you and you have a hard time remembering what you used to get so mad about.
Making peace, feeling grateful.
This entry is part of an "11 on 11" series I'm participating in with some photographers whose work inspires me: Sara Kaleho (MN), Sanna Lee (MN), Marie Sant (UT), Kelly Sweda (CA), and Brandi Tejeda (CO. We all post 11 photos on the 11th of each month, just for fun.
We link to each other to create a blog circle. You can follow along by checking out Sara's post, three little girls and a field of wildflowers. I love everything this girl does with the camera.