I don’t remember exactly how old I was when my parents first gave me a key to our house. What I do remember, though, is that it is the one key that has never left my keychain.
Our lives are constantly changing. We live various places until we finally settle down and drive different cars until ultimately we are all cruising in a minivan. New keys are added to our key rings as ones we no longer need are removed.
I can’t even begin to guess how many times I have turned the key to my parent’s front door. I lived there until I went to college at 18 years old. After I graduated, I came home. When I married at 26, I moved to my first apartment and eventually to my first house. And then my second house. When my then-husband decided to leave, I headed back “home” to my parents – with my two children and pregnant belly in tow. I still had a key, but didn’t need it as their door was wide open to us.
About three years later, we moved. Well, more like, we moved over. Next door. And now my new husband and I own the house – and we don’t plan to ever leave our home. But it is nice to know that when we need some sugar, or olive oil, or detergent, or birthday wrapping paper, or a babysitter, or diet soda, or batteries, or toothpaste, or toilet paper, or paper towels, or anything, my parents – who have been there for me through more than you can imagine – are just 58 steps away (yes, I counted) and their door is always open (or at least, can be unlocked).
Thank you mom and dad for always being there to love and support us. Oh, and for never asking for your key back.