A Sign You’ve Really Grown Up

 

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That picture right there.

Yes.  I took the picture.

Yes.  I meant to share it.

Why?

That’s a sign of my growing up when I moved out of my parent’s house.  For the first time.  (And yes, there was a second but that’s a story for another time.  Or maybe not.)

It has occurred to me over the past couple of days what growing up and moving out on my own really looked like.  And all I could think of was “toilet paper.”

The whole time I lived at home, summers in college included, I do not recall us EVER running out of toilet paper.

And why was that?

Because my Mama always made sure we had it.  A good supply.  With extras under the sink and big packs tucked in the bottom of the linen closet.  She kept us in stock.  No worries.

And on the off chance that you were in a compromising position with no toilet paper on the roll, you could holler out the universal call that said you were in need of said bathroom accessory:

“SOMEBODYYYY!!!!!”

Or at least that always worked at our house.  Eventually.

There was an episode of a tweens show, “Good Luck Charlie,” where the Mom was learning to text.  One afternoon she sent a message to her husband, “ITBOOTP.”  Eventually they had a discussion over what exactly that meant.  She gave him a “are you kidding me?” look and said, “In.The.Bathroom.Out.Of.Toilet.Paper.”

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ITBOOTP.  That made me LOL.  And yeah, I might have seen it in a text message around here once.  Or twice.  Ahem.

But I digress.

Suffice to say that when I was growing up the closest we came to running out of toilet paper was when it wasn’t on the roll.  But there was always some in the house.

When I lived in the dorms at college, we had community bathrooms my freshman year.  No chance of running out there.  The women who picked up and cleaned after us (bless ’em) made sure we always had toilet paper in stock.  The next three years I found toilet paper outside my suite room door once or twice a week.  I had a private bathroom and toilet paper provided.  I didn’t know enough to appreciate it then.

Until…..

I moved out on my own.  And guess whose responsibility it was to buy toilet paper then?

Ha.  Yeah.  Me.  Only it took me a little bit to actually figure that out.  As in one day, you look down and there are about six and a half squares left and you happen to think, “I need to put another roll out.”  And when there’s not one there, you wonder how in the world that happened.  Until hits you.

Welcome to the world of growing up.  It’s not all parties and watching whatever you want until all hours of the night and having friends over whenever you want and cooking and eating all of your favorites.  Let me tell you with absolute certainty, those friends of yours?  They might be okay if you can’t afford to order a pizza, but they are going to disappear fast if you don’t have toilet paper.

Don’t ask.

Being grown up and moving out on your own is less about you having things your own way and more about having toilet paper in stock.  That neither your Mama nor the dorm custodian supplied for you.

Yeah.  Toilet paper in your shopping cart.  That right there.  A true sign of maturity.20140408-225728.jpg

Tonight I’m thankful for all the years I didn’t have to worry about where the toilet paper was coming from.  I’m grateful now for privilege of having it, as I have friends for whom this is truly a luxury.  If you have someone making sure you never run out of the good stuff, go give them a hug and a big ol’ thank you.

And if you are the one who makes sure you never run out, congratulations.  You are the grownup.  Bless your heart.

Nowhere to Call Home

Last night our Princess was really feeling bad as bedtime came and went. We cuddled on the couch and watched TV. As she grew sleepy I tucked her in on the couch and moved over to the loveseat and pulled a blanket over me. I drifted off myself.
During the next hour I dreamed some weird stuff. We were in our home which didn’t look anything like home. Someone knocked at our solid wood door. I assured everyone it was okay, but I soon realized that the people behind the door were full of ill will and mal-intent. We gathered everyone (and I think it was more than just me and the crew) and headed toward safety the only way we could. Out the back. It was a sunny day filled with the darkness of the evil coming after us. I knew we wouldn’t be coming back to this house.

I looked back in through a window as we were about to leave. What came to my dream mind was my scarves. My flannel plaid, big, comfy, and warm scarves. I was sad. I knew I could not risk going back in after them. I think I’m so drawn to them in real life because they remind me of shirts Mama made for Daddy over the years. As I took my first step off the porch to safety while carrying a little one, I thought, trying to console myself, Well I can always order another one sometime.
And that’s when the realization hit me. I wouldn’t have a home. There would be no address to send anything to. Ever. Again. No home.
I woke up then.
Blinking.
TV on.
Our Princess was watching the screen quietly from her nest on the couch. Awake. I looked at the time. An hour had passed.
After I got her situated comfortably and tucked in for sleep, I was finally ready for sleep myself. My Fella has a theory that if you sleep somewhere other than your own bed, you will have strange dreams. Maybe. But my dreams the rest of the night–in my own bed–were just as strange.
And while they were full of the threat of danger too, none were as troubling.
I have been bothered by that first dream a lot today.
Because that must be what some of my friends without a roof over their heads feel like. Nowhere to call home, nowhere to get mail. Nowhere to let their guard down and just be. They also have to walk away from their things sometimes. I have heard numerous stories of one friend or another having his few possessions stolen, confiscated, thrown away, crushed under rubble, destroyed in the rain, or blown away by the wind.
And I was tempted to go back in after scarves? Of all the stuff to have been upset over? Not pictures? Not books? Not a gift from my parents? Scarves?
I don’t even know.
And if that didn’t feel shallow enough, I also had that thought–oh well, I’ll just get another one. Sigh. Where did that come from?
I was not raised like that. We were taught to take care of what we had. Fix what was broken. Mend what was torn. We did not replace things easily if ever.

I know I could probably sit down with my Psych 101 book and interpret every last detail of this thing. The loss of home…..makes sense. Loss of something I find comfort in…..yeah, that sounds about right. Surrounded by darkness threatening me and those I love in broad daylight–maybe a stretch but I think I’ve got it.
But my comforting myself with “it’s okay I’ll get another”…..it just troubles me.
I’ve been hoping and looking for a positive spin on this. Perhaps I’m trying to tell myself it will be okay? That I will make sure that it is?

I do find it interesting that what woke me up was not the paralyzing fear of what was coming. Instead it was the idea of having no address and realizing that I know the names of people and I love folks that have that situation to live with everyday.

I have no solid answers tonight. Just pondering what it all means. I’m running on a lot less sleep than usual tonight so please forgive my wandering thoughts. Tonight I am thankful for a much earlier bedtime and clearer thoughts tomorrow. I’m also very thankful for an address. Not so I can have stuff sent to it, but because it means I have a place to be, to belong, to laugh, to love, and to lay my head on a pillow (or couch) each night. Most of all, I’m thankful to be thankful. It’s good to be reminded to appreciate what I do have and that it’s not a given for everyone.

Love to all. Sweet dreams. Here’s hoping.