That Place, That Place Will Always Be Home To Me...
I crawled into bed, although different than the one I slept in as a little girl, in the very same corner of the very same room in the very same house I grew up in and at one point, I squinted through the darkness to see all three of my boys asleep in the very same space.
I still have a hard time believing that I have three. Three sweet and sometimes sour, beautiful, kind and precocious boys. Selfishly they are all mine and I do, at times, have a hard time sharing them. But how could I not? How could I not want to keep them all to myself forever and ever, even in those sour moments?
As I squinted through the dark, I could see my oldest was asleep on the travel cot in the far corner of the room, his eyelids fluttering with dreams full of the day's earlier adventure. Adventure that included fishing in the same nook of the same pond that I grew up fishing in and what's more, my Dad was by his side helping him reel his very first catch in. My mind flooded with memories of emptying my Dad's tackle box in the very same nook- as I was never any good at being patient waiting for the fish to bite- while he taught me how to cast a line and reel in The Big One.
I glanced over to my middle baby, asleep on the trundle beneath me to my right, the wildest sleeper of the three, he was mumbling something, something about a police car and he looked so small there on that bed. If I squinted hard enough, I could still see the baby in his face, something that is barely but a trace on him in the daylight. There's just something about turning two, about thinning out so much that your little boy neck appears and you are no longer the baby when the next baby arrives...
And the baby, oh, my sweet nearly three month old baby. As he slept in the play yard at the foot of my bed I wondered how we got to this place, this place of having him here, earth side for almost three months now. I blink and he grows. He's on the verge of giggling now and just when I thought his sweet coo's couldn't melt my heart any more, he starts to giggle and just like that I am putty in his hands.
It doesn't take much to make my knees go weak. One giggle, a sweet cuddle from my middle baby and a "this was the best day ever" from my oldest, even on the most mundane of days is enough to make me feel like the luckiest woman in the world.
But this place. This place will always be my home, even though I haven't lived here since graduating college more than nine years ago. Even though I'm kind of grown up, married with three boys and living a life in a house far away from here, living a life that is all our own, I will always come home to this place. When I say "I'm going home for a few days," it's here that I'm referring to, the hometown I grew up in, never ever the house I currently live in. That's just "going back."
The house I currently live in, the house my husband and I saved for, planned for and hoped for, the house that we poured ourselves into making a home, one that welcomed our three babes with open arms and warm nooks and crannies to rest their sleepy souls in, is just that to me, a house.
And in a way that makes perfect sense to me.
I am who I am, the way I am because of the way and the people who raised me in that original place. It's the only home I've ever known and it's where my roots took hold. Its walls spill over with memories. Memories of birthday parties, broken bones and bruised hearts. Of sleepovers, backyard camp outs and college acceptances. Of defeat and joy and unexpected endings. Of new beginnings and the kind of laughter that makes you laugh so hard you weep big fat tears and can hardly stop laughing or crying. It's the place that taught me what it meant to be a family. What it meant to grow together, to love each other unconditionally, to extend grace, to struggle together but at the end of the day to love one another and be grateful.
And although I've lived in many places since then, truly lived in them, experiencing heartache, new life, loss but always overwhelming love in them, they never feel like the place where my roots began.