When I was single, I rented a charming, 500-sq. ft. duplex built in the 1920s.
It came complete with a black and white checkered kitchen floor, a glass-paned front door and a teeny butterfly garden overrun with flowering vines.
Before I moved in, I would “visit” my soon-to-be home during my lunch hour, sometimes bringing friends.
I needled “oohs” and “aahs” from my pals as we looked through the windows. To add to my nostalgic
intoxication, my new pad was a five-minute walk from a downtown filled with antique stores, a cigar shop,
and a 100-year-old drugstore still serving up grilled cheeses and rootbeer floats.
Why I longed to live in the duplex is the same reason that I loved reading a fellow mom’s recent
post “Why Our Parents Put Us to Shame” – I pine for the time when community and contentment came
easy, fun could be had for free and a person didn’t need a list of ingredients to know what went into their
When I moved into that tiny duplex with my two kitties and a vintage tablecloth to drape on my table, I
realized that the living wasn’t so easy. There was no dishwasher and the counter space was little bigger
than the width of my fry pan. The plumbing backed up, regularly, and the windows that brought in all that
great sunlight also made for chilly winters. The walls were paper thin and changing a light bulb was an
electrocution waiting to happen.
Life and parenting have always been challenging, no matter what the generation. Reading that post made
me long for the childhood the writer described, a childhood that was never my own but sounds divine and
much like the one I’m trying to create for my kids. It reminded me to keep parenting simple, not to stress
so much and that no matter how much browner the grass is on this side, it comes with a dishwasher and
a husband who shares in the housework.