I’m always happy to see my kids when they come home to visit.
“Kids” is really a misnomer – they are both in that undefined place – in college, taking care of themselves on a daily basis, but still need parental guidance – there are questions about everything from what to wear to a sorority formal to whether to transfer to another school. For both of them, coming home is a chance to relax, flop around in pajamas, see old friends, and eat my cooking. It’s nice to know that for both of them, this will always be “home,” no matter where they live or what happens in their lives. It brings me such happiness to know that we’ve provided them this sense of stability and the knowledge that they will always feel when they’re here like they belong – as their worlds get bigger, this becomes more and more important.
I love that word – home.
I love the sound of it, I love what it conjures up in my mind, and I love to be able to call this our home – after 20 years here, I feel as connected to this house as I possibly could. I know it’s every nook and cranny, every electrical outlet, every closet shelf and drawer and what’s in them. I know the names of all the paint colors and the wattage of every light bulb. I know exactly where the sun will be each morning and evening, depending on the time of year. I know the sounds – the thrum of the air conditioning coming on, the whoosh of the heater warming up, the rush of the showers, and which door is being closed just by the click of the doorknob. I know my home as well as I know myself.
I love to share my home with my friends and family. I’d rather invite people here for dinner than go out whenever possible. I like to cook – I don’t love it – but I do love to bake. I love, love to set the table – first the linens, then the dishes, then glassware and flatware – and then comes the really fun part, the flowers and candles and other decorations. I go a little crazy with the holiday spirit at Thanksgiving – then ramp it down a bit for Hanukkah, which isn’t nearly as much fun as Christmas, but oh well. I scour Home Goods for little bits of this and that, bowls or dish towels or maybe a vase, and usually, no one notices except me, but that’s ok – I know there’s something new and pretty for me to see each day.
When my kids were growing up, this was their home, and my husband and I just lived in it.
There were places that were just for my husband and me – our little office, and our master bedroom – but most of the house was for the kids, and that was great. But now that they’ve been gone for a while, it’s always a little disruptive (ok, a lot) when they return. Not that we aren’t thrilled to have them here – I love spending time with my kids, and I love having their friends around – but it becomes their house again – not really ours for the time being. We’re more vigilant about them keeping things clean and picked up now than we were when they were younger, which seems fair – after all, they are grown up. But one of the funny things about them coming back to visit is that in some ways, they sort of collapse back into being little kids again – and we become mommy and daddy in a way we aren’t when they are at school. I suppose everyone does that to a certain extent with their parents – its just another step on the path of being mom and dad.
My all time favorite line from a movie is, of course, from the Wizard of Oz – “There’s no place like home.” All Dorothy wanted throughout that movie was to find a way back to the dusty little house and plain folk that she loved. For me, home is everything – and every road leads back to it.