Just thinking a bit.
I’m sitting here, in my white partner’s childhood bed, for the first time in a few days completely at peace. I went on a bike ride on his childhood bike. I was waved at and waved back at his childhood neighbors. I keep stopping and staring at childhood photos all over the walls. His home’s walls are filled to the brim with memories, but also… peace?
Every year we’re together, I get a deeper look at what it was like for him to grow up here, in this small 10,000 person town, in a home that grew as his family grew. I’m sitting here, coming to terms with the fact that peace was also a privilege I didn’t have. This was the kind of bed-peace I yearned for, the kind I was never allowed in my life.
We were a nomadic clan — my fancy way of saying we were poor, at-risk, and forced to move a lot. So many houses, so little time to feel connected to any one in particular. Along with those houses came schools as well: I went to a different school every single year from Pre-K through eighth grade. Different faces, different friends, different me’s. It was not peaceful. It was exhilarating and scary and uncomfortable for my development but I just wanted peace. Hell, I wouldn’t even have known what peace was — like one of the faces of the many year-long best friends I found and lost. I bet peace was pretty, though.
Do you know how hard it is to look for something you’ve never known? Searching each face you meet with a hope that this will finally be your peace — it’s exhausting.
So as I’m sitting here, looking around this room, I’m starting to see that I’d be fine with peace taking the form of worn-in, grown-in house.
I think… I’d like to give a child a home that grows with them, that follows them to middle school then high school, and waves them goodbye when they leave for college. Is here to welcome them home during summers. Is filled with memories that they come back to year after year to dip their toes into. Bottle up some peace and take it home with you, child. This peace has been brewing all your life.
I want this peace. I wanted this peace. Why does peace have to be a privilege?