My first-born, Erin, is leaving home Saturday for Truman State University. On my way to being an empty nester! If you have a Facebook account..it seems like all of the postings the past few weeks are pictures of the college bound kids on their way out the door. This blog isn’t going to be about how much I’ll miss her, or advice I want to share with her..it’s about Erin leaving Brookside. She’s spent here whole life here so far…how has it influenced her?
As Erin grew up, she realized what a special place this is…..she played in the nearby parks, biked the trail, friended the neighbors, babysat for families, attended three different schools. She learned to appreciate the uniqueness of the homes here, inside and out. (Whenever she would come home from visiting a new friend’s home, she would tell me about it –the original charming features, the curb appeal, the lush finished basements.) She enjoyed supporting locally owned businesses. Her first job was at The New Dime Store, and she always had stories about various customers and family friends that stopped by. She learned a lot there about working with the public!
Of course she will ‘come home to Brookside’ for holidays and summers, but she won’t be really living here as before. Her carefree childhood as a Brookside kid is over. As she flies away, I know she will get a warm, nostalgic feeling every time she drives back here through our streets, visiting with old friends at 63rd and Brookside for drinks, a meal or Foos Frozen Custard. When she’s older, ready to choose her own home, will she be influenced by her Brookside childhood? Will she chose an urban, walkable, neighborhood full of older homes and locally owned restaurants and shops? Will she want to come back and live in Brookside??
It’s a small community here, and Erin is leaving to explore the world. Her Brookside roots will stay strong. I know her Brookside home will always be with her, wherever in the world she ends up.