I’ve been back in my hometown for over a week now. I haven’t lived here since I was 18, and it’s odd to be here nearly 10 years later with my two boys and to resist falling back into old habits.

At 10:30 at night, when the boys have been asleep for a few hours, I start thinking about taking the car, going to the grocery store, dancing through the aisles and picking up some junk food. And then I remember that I’m not a teenager anymore. I don’t do that kind of thing. But then I wish my sisters were here, and we could go out and sit on the trampoline and jump and talk and watch the cars drive by while musing on our future lives.

I leave the dishes in the sink because it’s been 10 years since I’ve had access to a dishwasher and I’m not sure how my mom handles it. My clothes (and the boys’ clothes, too) are strewn around my room, unsure of where they should go. In the drawers? In the suitcase? In the laundry basket? My room bears a striking resemblance to the room I inhabited as a teenager, not because of the decor, but because of the mess.

When I drive, I try to let my habits take over. Isn’t that store down this road . . . ? I remember driving this was to get there . . . . And I have to stop myself from taking “detours” — the long way home my sister and I used to take, past all the cute boys’ houses within a two mile radius.

After dinner I get up from the table and take the boys outside. I pull them in the wagon, throw balls, watch them jump on the tramp. Just like old times, only it’s my kids I play with now, rather than my siblings.

Only one of my brothers still lives at home. He was 8 when I moved to Provo, just a few years older than Manchild is now. Last night the two of us stayed up later than we should have. We watched a movie, talked, enjoyed what was, perhaps, our first conversation as adults, and forgot that I still had to be a mom in the morning.

Old habits die hard.

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