As you write about memories of your first home (or any other place), include some emotional furniture.
If you’re like me and don’t have any (or very few) memories of your first home, don’t page away. There are many ways to adopt this prompt to use it to elicit heart-felt stories.
When I first tried the prompt “Write about your memories of your first home,” my first reaction was, “Oh yeah, write about the place I can’t remember.” I wasn’t alone. The woman next to me offered aloud, “My first home after I got married?” She grew up as a military brat. She couldn’t even remember the number of home she had lived in, much less any details about the first one.
The point is to get your memories to paper and to connect with others through your stories. For instance, in addition to writing about your actual first home, you could write about
- The first home that mattered to you—and why it mattered to you
- Your first independent adult home
- Your first home as a couple
- Your first home as a family or new home as a blended family.
- A place you felt at home—even if it wasn’t where you lived…
When you put your memories of your first home to paper, don’t just write about the four walls. Be sure to capture the emotions that are tangled up in the walls as well. Your loved ones are probably curious about what the home looked like (at least mildly), but what they are really interested in are the stories and the “developing” of who you became that took place inside those four walls. Place some emotional furniture in your house. Explain why things are memorable, why that home was your home, and why it matters.
The role the home played in the family
As you write about your memories of your first home, introduce the home, just like you would an old friend. Tell the back-story. Was it just a transitional home for your parents or was it a family homestead?
For instance, though I don’t have many memories of my first home, I love the photos my mom took. Furniture-wise, it was a humble home, but was rich in activities.
Why you choose that home
If you’ve chosen to write about an adult home, write about why you chose that home. Were you right?
Your perspective on your first home
You can take that as literally has you want. If you were tiny, your perspective is going to be looking up or examining the furniture legs. But your perspective might also have been formed over an entire childhood. Perhaps your perspective was colored by the people that shared your home—that made it a warm, happy place or the prison you couldn’t escape.
Why the memories of your first home matter to you
If you’ve moved often, some homes are little more than the brick, mortar, and drywall. In other cases, it was symbolic of a personal journey. Having a safety net. Independence. Starting out towards a hope-filled future.
Include your hopes and dreams as you write about your home. Did they turn out as you would have wished?
Looking back on Memories of your First Home
How did you feel about the home while you lived there? How do you feel about it now? Explain the differences in your feelings. Do you hope your children, nieces and nephews have a home like this? Why or why not?
What memories of a first home would you want to share with your loved ones? Why? What would you include?