Going Home

Home.  I think about it frequently. I write about being a stay at home mother.  I write about making a home for my family.

I grew up in only two houses.  Home was a physical and unchanging place for more than twenty years. In the last ten years I have moved more than I had previously in my entire life.  In the last five years alone I have moved three times.  This house, this home where I am now, we moved while I was pregnant.  When we brought Lucy home and our family was complete, I knew we were home for good.

This week I am packing up the car again.  I am taking the girls to the beach. Mention to a grocery clerk or an acquaintance “heading to the beach” and they might not even notice the melancholy tone.  The beach.  The beach is vacation and sunscreen and smiles all around, right?  But long ago, the beach was home.

I became a mother at the beach.  I brought Emily home at the beach.  Home.  I miss the sand and the salty air in the morning. I miss the long, flat roads for running. I miss my friends and the seafood and my family.

This week much of my ex-husband’s family will gather at the beach.  My family.  Waiting on the birth of a new baby we will grill hot dogs and laugh and soak up the sun.  Some time  this week  I will put Lucy in the jogging stroller and I will take a nice long run down Bay Drive. I will turn down Third Street and as I get closer to my turn, my old street, my feet will slow.  I will ready myself.  And I will run by my old home.

My family is still my family. The beach will still welcome me with the promise of sandy feet and the tight feeling of salt water dried on my skin.  The long, flat roads with a cool breeze in the morning will be there. But my home? It isn’t my home anymore.

I hope it is home to someone. I hope there are flowers on the porch and bicycles in the driveway.

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3 responses to “Going Home

  1. Very interesting timing in my life for this post to come. I have been thinking about “home” lately and wondering where that is, and when was the last time I really had a place that was truly “home.” This bout of existentialism was brought on by watching BOLT last week (yes, I watch Disney movies all the time even though I don’t have kids, let’s not get started on that) and listening to one of the centerpiece montage songs which says “there is no home like the one you’ve got, ’cause that home belongs to you.” It got me thinking about how I don’t really feel like I have a home that belongs to me. After I moved to California, my parents moved out of the house I grew up in (I, too, only grew up in two houses before leaving for college), so even when I go back to visit the east coast, none of the places I stay are “mine.” And it’s kind of a kick in the ass to realize that no place out here truly feels like “home,” either. Just one more damn thing I gotta work out on my own. But today I don’t feel quite so on my own, thanks to you. XO

  2. It’s strange. I had at least four “homes” from 1978 when I was born until 1985. That doesn’t include the 7 homes we lived in in the summer of 1983 or 84 when we were getting settled in Fairfax County. I was very lucky to live in one home for 11 years till I went to college. And I just realized, I’ve lived in L.A. longer than I’ve been in Burke (not counting the college years when I was just there in the summer.) The house is important, but the memories are moreso. I’ve looked up all those houses on Google, and probably because I was almost too young to remember, they don’t mean much. They’ve gotten new siding, had apple trees cut down (who does that?) Renovations, new carpet.

    But the family and memories are much more important than the house itself.

  3. The tried and true, the trite, only become that way because they are just that. Your home is where your heart is, Kelly. And like I remember telling you long ago, your heart is big enough to hold them all. I hope you have a great time this week, in part remembering how lucky you are to still have the people who were part of that place in your heart.

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