I Grew Up.

I am home in Houston this week, the city I was born and I still writing right now in the home I grew up in since the 4th grade. it looks different but the same. However. Let me tell you, I sat in my bed last night in the same room I had in middle school - high school, and I sat in the dark, listening to my daughter snore and coo in her sleep in her pak-N-play next to me, with my second daughter kicking around in my belly and it felt beyond surreal.

I closed my eyes and remembered the blue carpet (navy blue, for real), the yellow walls (I had to have yellow), and the ripped out magazine clippings of Leo DiCaprio, Tom Cruise, Robert Redford and so many others from that year's 50 most Beautiful People edition of PEOPLE that used to take residence with clear tape on the wall. And I timelined back to so many different emotions that rip and roar through your body from ages 12 to 18. I remember being on the purple see-through and chordless phone (my own line!) for hours in there, and crouched over biology homework after a sweaty basketball game, and I remember having to leave the door open when my high school boyfriend came over and wishing I had a TV in there and almost sneaking out the side window twice but never doing it because I was scared of getting caught (unlike my badass younger sisters...hmmph). 

I remembered so many details. 

And today we ventured down the roads that we used to take to school, where my Mother was my PE teacher and still is! My old school which doesn't even look the same, I am talking major upgrade. I walked into their new cafeteria and wondered if I was in the Nordstrom Cafe, hello upgrades. I took my own daughter on the new playground and felt so weird knowing that my young self had done the exact same in this exact same spot with probably those exact same crazy pigtails. The best kind of weird, of course. And I hugged old teachers and talked to the principal about my class of 1998 and where people are now. 

And I remembered so many details.

I don't come home that often, maybe once a year. My family meets up on adventures or for family weddings or in our new Colorado home because you know, mountains. And it feels so different probably because it has been a while and well, I feel so different.

I realize being here in my old room, visiting my old school, and seeing time almost go in slow mo through your body in waves of feelings and memories that ... I grew up

Like that moment in Hook, the movie when Peter Pan realized he grew up after returning to Never Never Land with the Lost Boys to get his children back. I am so right there. 

I know, took me long enough to realize it. And I imagine for some of us, it takes a while.

And just like my school that has changed and upgraded and my old room that now has hard wood floors and a whole new candle smell, so do I. I have upgrades in a husband I love so very much, two children that have changed my life completely and a home in Colorado. I have upgrades in life perspectives, wisdom and so much damn grace from living a life full on. And I can pay to take my parents out to dinner and I can stay up as last as I want and yet choose to go to bed early (mom life, that so happened). 

I grew up. 

I by no means feel old, what I am saying is, well, I finally feel like a grown up. And I am really proud of who I am. And I am so thankful to my parents, my schools, my life here in Houston and the streets I used to run on and the neighbors I used to babysit for and the drama I used to stay up late and talk out on the purple phone and write out in notes with gel pens that I would bring to school the next day and the blue carpet and yellow walls and the same family photo that hangs on the main wall in our home for the past 17 years.

I grew up. And I love the life I am living.

That is some solid gold. 

At the airport on my way from Denver to Houston, all grown up. You know, snapping selfies in a public restroom...

At the airport on my way from Denver to Houston, all grown up. You know, snapping selfies in a public restroom...

Jacki Carr