Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Red Doors

I didn't have patience to lay by Parley tonight, and I knew if I didn't, he'd be up 'till 11:00 or beyond playing in his room, keeping Hazel awake by making odd noises until she laughed, asking for drinks. So, I proposed a drive. I sent him to get two books and brush his teeth, then come and read before our drive. He obediently did so (amazing), and we were set to go. Hazel, in a whisper, asked if I was trying to put him to sleep (this clearly isn't the first time I've done this). I assured her I was and that it wasn't going to be fun, but she could come if she didn't talk to him.


She had another idea:

"What if, after you get Parley to sleep (whispered) you come home and read me two books, then a chapter in the Boxcar Children, and then we go for a ride."

"To put you to sleep?"

Hazel, hesitating, "...Yes."

I smile, knowing she has been beyond the "fall asleep in the car" stage for a long time.

She starts to breakdown a tiny bit--realizing the same thing, "Oh, I can't fall asleep in the car! But we could still go for a ride!"

"Sure we can." I say.

After all, I miss the me and Hazel days. A week or so before I had Parley, I broke down crying. I was thrilled to be having another child, and anxiously awaited his arrival every day. But with it went the days of only Hazel and me. And now, though I'd never change a thing, there still is a longing for those Hazel days.

So I put Parley to sleep (with many a close call of him waking up--to ruin my whole night with his wakefulness) and after reading our books, Hazel and I got in the car. I proposed we drive past our last two homes--the places she's lived in her short six year life. She loves to drive by them, she wants to talk about them and wants desperately to visit them again, and can't understand why we can't. So we drove the familiar road to the blue house (our houses are all named after their colors) , and as we rounded the road past the church, I could see people outside our home. Our old home. The red, front door and blinds were open--giving us a small glimpse into what used to be our everyday life.

Hazel also noticed and excitedly said, "The door is open! Let's stop!" I tried to explain to her that we weren't really welcome to come there all the time like we once were, and it would probably look strange if we drove past too slowly and too many times. But I promised, after we drove around the block a few times, we'd come by again.

We drove on, passing many old neighbors' homes, our church building and bishop's house, and Hazel's preschool. And true to our promise, I returned to our old street-- once so welcoming--but now driving on it, I felt a trespasser. I drove as slowly as I could without appearing too strange. We both looked out the window--the blinds on that little blue house still open, showing us our old family room and kitchen.

I rounded the corner again and asked Hazel if she could see what it looked like in the house. When she answered, I could tell she was crying. I asked her if it made her sad--and she tried to blink back her tears--I could see myself in those upturned eyes so vividly. She quickly said, "No," clearly embarrassed that I had caught her in her sadness. Memories flooded my mind--of times I too, denied my obvious tears. This was my girl.

I told her that I was sad to see the blue house. I told her that sometimes even when we're happy someplace else, we really miss where we used to be. We make memories everywhere we go, I said, and we have happy times together, and meet nice friends and people that are important in our lives. So, even though we like the red house, we can still be sad that we don't live at the blue house anymore too. She agreed.

And I thought about those neighbors and friends, people I am so glad I know, the bishop, who I worked closely with and the ward which taught me much and humbled me greatly. I thought about the trampoline at night in the summertime with jumping children in jammies, and dragonflies flying low and I too, cried.

And it felt like when I cried before Parley was born--not sad because I didn't want to be where I was, but sad that those "blue house" times were gone. Just like the Hazey and Mom times. And the "yellow house" times, and the Jayne and Jed times. I say prayers of gratitude every night that I am so happy here in my home. My red home. But, like Hazel, I wish I could hold on to all my "houses", entering all stages of life whenever I felt like visiting. Holding three-month-old babies, or hiking on my honeymoon, attending Kindergarten programs, playing with Woody and Buzz or visiting Jerusalem's Old City. Isn't there a red door out there to welcome me back again? And again and again?

Certainly all the doors in heaven must be red.

36 comments:

k a t y said...

I loved this post, Jayne. So well put.

Kelly said...

Nice post. Whenever we visit Provo we always drive by our old newlywed apartment. The only minivan in a sea of junky cars and we weep at the sight of #215.

Kim~Ohio said...

Jaynie, you always seem to capture the essesence of the moment. My parents are moving out of the house I grew up in, the ONLY house I have ever know with them. No one in my family gets why I am so sad.

I know you and Hazel get it! Thanks! :)

Rachel said...

jayne, i miss the old neighborhood and ward too... and bishop.. great post... made me a little 'home sick.'

Hannah :) said...

Memories are on the list of the most treasured abilities God gave us.
They make you smile, make you sad, make you laugh and make you cry.

I hold memories so dear.

megan said...

Thanks for the smile today, Jayne and Hazel. And the teary eyes. I needed them. Both.

Sue said...

Beautiful. And true.

Thanks.

=)

Rebecca said...

Jayne,
What an awesome experience! It reminds me that I need to spend those sweet moments with each one of my girls alone. I love the tenderness! Thanks for sharing something so special!

Kim~Ohio said...

Jaynie and Jed,

what is a ward? Is that like a neighborhood?

Wells said...

you're lucky your memories are all in one town to go visit! we did some of those this last month in DC...
you and stef will enjoy red door heaven!
lovely post.
anita

jayniemoon said...

Kim--
Good question--sorry for the confusing mormon lingo. In our church, members are split into different groups (usually that live close to each other) and they attend church at the same time as each other. So we can utilize the building effectively. So we usually have 3 church times each Sunday--like 9, 11 and 1 or something. And one ward attends church at each of those times. We are grouped into wards based on where we live. So sort of like a neighborhood. But in places that aren't so concentrated with LDS people, wards can cover quite a distance. In my case, my across the street neighbors are in a different ward!

Kim~Ohio said...

Jaynie, Thanks for the explaination. I am sort of mormon stupid. There are not many mormon churches in Ohio. I can honestly say that I have never seen a LDS chruch or met anyone who is mormon. I guess I live a sheltered life! :)

Brimley Girl said...

You and Hazel are such beautiful girls. I can picture you as a little girl trying to hide a few sets of tears. This might be my favorite post you have done. Love you.

Bart said...

Janssen shared this on google reader and I read it without realizing it was your blog until about halfway through. You're a fantastic writer. I'm impressed. We're in the middle of some transitional times ourselves (just sold our home yesterday, staying with friends for the next 6 weeks while I finish school, and then moving to Boston), and it's sad to leave Austin and all of our awesome friends here.

I'm glad you live in the red house. It makes it so much more likely that we get to see you when we're in town!

ali said...

i love that she's YOUR girl. what a lucky girl to take after such a great gal!

Shana said...

Well done, Jayne. When will I start reading your work in the Ladies Home Journal? You have a great talent. Love you guys, Shana

P.S. It's Serena and me home alone for the next two days. You'll have similar feelings about your youngest (similar to missing the days alone with your oldest) because you rarely have time alone with your baby (or your middle child/children for that matter). Someone else is always around!

Lisa said...

PLEASE TELL YOUR SWEET GIRL EVEN 44 YEAR OLDS CAN'T GO BACK TO THEIR OLD HOUSE BECAUSE THEY KNOW THEY WOULD CRY AND NOT BE ABLE TO STOP.

BIG HUGS FROM MAINE

jayniemoon said...

Kim--you may have a chance to meet one or even a few of us--I'm hoping to come out with my sister and mom the the Country Living Fair in Ohio in September. Then you can feel my head and make sure those rumors about us having horns are false. You just never know about us crazy mormons!

Bart, that is a nice compliment coming from an intellectual as yourself!

Shana, I'm aiming for US Weekly. Stars! They're Just Like US!!!

Kim~Ohio said...

Jaynie,

Yippee! Is it in Springfield again? Let me know if and when you are coming and we can meet you all there. My sister went last year and she said it was AWESOME! So much to choose from and so little time. She came home with this beautiful armoire that was kiwi green. so cute! Bring your walking shoes! It's about 3 hours south of here, but I will drive however long the distance is to see those horns. hee hee! Tell Jed to come too. He can sit on the bench with the credit cards and check book with my husband! :)

Kim~Ohio said...

Nope, it's in Columbus. That is just about 2 hours South of here. If you need to know where it's safe to stay and where not to stay, please let me know. There are places next to Ohio State that you for sure want to avoid...unless you plan on attending a kegger. :)

nhsphoto said...

jayne! if you and jed are going to ohio i want to go with you! and if you're going to columbus, you should stay with my parents. that wouldn't be weird at all, right? :)

Anonymous said...

Jayniemoon,
What a sweet post. I miss those quiet "Hazel and Jayne" days at my house too. I love my "Grandma and Hazel" moments still so much! I can't believe she is getting so grown up. She has always been such a special little girl. So have you Jayne! Two beautiful, sensitive, brown eyed girls!
Love Mom, who also loves red doors and cries too easily.

adriandgreg said...

I cried too while reading this post! I miss your blue house too because you lived there! I have so many sweet memories in such a short time near that little blue house. I miss you and your family!

adriandgreg said...

And by the way, Jayne you are an excellent writer!

Jordan said...

As we prepare to move through our next "red door", this was particularly poignant.

Lori said...

Two quick things, I am coming to Ohio with you! AND why in the world would you even think putting a hot dog on top of a hamburger would be a good idea?

jayniemoon said...

You MUST try it Lori, it is SO tasty.

Secondly, Awesome! We are going Sept 16-20! I'm REALLY doing it!

Kim~Ohio said...

Jayne, I am so excited you are coming to Ohio. I will email Jed a list of places to stay and a few things that are fun to do in the area. September is beautiful in central Ohio! I spoke to my friend and Kevin and I will be down there too. We should meet for dinner or to walk around the fair. I think we will just be there on Saturday. My goal is to do it all in one day.

Lindsey said...

I love this post. Whenever I can, I like to drive-by our little Orem house that we lived in and I get sad and nostalgic and then I get mad that they turned the garage into another room. How can 2 tiny bedrooms NOT be enough people?!?!

Also, I'm not sure you should be revealing "Jeckyll & Hyde" family secrets. You should ask Gramps first. ;)

YellowMutt said...

This would make a great premise for a children's book - and I am sure as you could write it...who could illustrate it! :0)

emily k. smith said...

Could my heaven door be turquoise? And if you need a three month old to hold I've got one that won't let me put him down... Oh yeah, you already know that since you held him the whole time we were swimming.

Nicole Beck said...

Savannah really misses our old house - with the red door as well. Those were great times, and I am amazed at all the wonderful people who live (and have lived) in that neighborhood.

Thank you for putting into words all of those emotions that surround us when we have big changes happen in our lives. Keep the tears, and the laughs coming. We need them!

Melanie Gao said...

Oh Jaynie this was just such a lovely post I had to leave you a comment to say thanks. This made me cry and I completely understand what you're saying. Yes, I believe all the doors in heaven must be red.

Stefanie said...

jaynie i love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

abs

olivia said...

hi jayne! i'm glad i click-clicked through katy's blog to get here. we're about to make our first move after marriage and leaving the ward/bishop/neighborhood is killing me. (but we ARE going to have a terrific new landlord--wink, wink) i am a super sentimental sucker and drive by old meaningful provo spots all the time. the DT one from BYU freshman year is hard... but then i just drive up to your parents' house that has almost as many memories.

anyway, you put into the BEST words just exactly how i feel. THANK YOU.

and i think heaven will have all the colored doors we need. from the gross dark brown of my favorite childhood home, to the turquoise one at my family's current home, to the uncountable colors of knudsens... i can't wait to have them all back again.

sincereley, the longest comment-maker ever.

Kerri said...

Jayne, I know this is an old post, but I've been reading through some of your archives, and I have to let you know how much this touched me. We just moved and I'm still missing my home in a way-too-close-to-the surface kind of way. Lovely writing and pictures on your blog. Thanks.