The Joy of a Garage

Parked in our attached garage you’ll now find my car.
Such a small detail to share, but full of meaning. And joy. As well as delight!

The first time pulling in and out of the garage, I felt giddy. As I turned out of the driveway while simultaneously hitting the garage door opener attached to the visor above my head, I felt like an adult. A mom.

More precisely, like my mom.

Most of my memories growing up included a garage. I have mental pictures of my mom, the main driver, lifting up one hand to hit the button to open and close the door. Upon leaving the house, there was always the pause. Just a moment to wait and make sure the door was completely shut. That the door didn’t get stuck midway, or bounce back up. Seeing with our eyes that the door was really shut and staying closed. We never wanted to take a chance leaving it open. For the dog could run out if the house door blew open (and our dog was a runner). Or someone could make themselves comfortable with our belongings (even though we did have a security system, too). I can’t count the number of times we weren’t sure if the door closed so we inevitably went back to double check and almost always found it shut.

Why the sudden infatuation with a garage? We have a new garage at our home. A detached two-car garage. Which means our old garage that stored our ‘72 project Suburban now has room for my car. After 3.5 years I finally get a garage. A garage of my own. A space of my own.

I knew I’d experience the joy of it in the winter. In not having to scrape ice or clear snow. In not having to warm up the car. In being closer for carrying groceries. For ease with children. It’s definitely a simple, small joy. A privilege, really. But what I didn't expect was the nostalgia. The memories. The connecting to garages of my past. The joy of being my mom. The joy of being the one pressing the garage door opener. Being the one turning into a driveway of my own.

This newfound joy brings a smile to my face. An unexpected smile. An unexpected gift in remembering my mom as I was a child and teenager.

Stephen’s been more excited for the new garage and a workshop for himself. But perhaps this afternoon when I pulled in with my hand on the opener button, my joy far exceeded his. For not only is the garage a place to store and work and park, but it’s also a place in which I leave but always come home. A home reminding me of my mother, of being a mother, and the joy found in home wherever I am.