“I miss daddy,” Big N cried in the middle of the night.
“I know,” I replied reassuringly. “We are going home tomorrow.”
“Uh no. Tomorrow we go to grandma and grandpa’s house, then we will see daddy. Two more sleeps.”
How did I mess that up again? I keep confusing my children by synonymously saying home when I refer to my childhood home and our current home.
When did my childhood home no longer become my personal home? Was it when I became a freshman at PSU? Was that when it started- has it really been 15 years?
No that cannot be it. That was like an extended stay at another place. When school let out I went back home to my parents, my childhood friends, even a high school boyfriend for a year. But that slowly changed. Some childhood friendships lasted while others started to fade. I was no longer dating that boy.
Maybe it was when I graduated college. My college friendships were some of my strongest at the time. I had a college boyfriend who didn’t live in my hometown. Going home felt as if I was being stretched from my college life to visit my parents. But nonetheless, I went home that summer, too.
How about my first year of teaching? I was living in an apartment 3 hours away from my childhood home. I had a fiancé now, but we weren’t living together (or even in the same town). No- PSU made sure I knew that this was not my home quite yet when they still charged me out of state tuition for grad school.
Maybe when I got married. Yes- that must be when it changed. We had our own apartment, I was finally getting in-state tuition rates, and I had my own little family. But that apartment didn’t last and we still traveled home for every major holiday.
Our first house? We literally “owned” a home now. This must be when the lines got blurry. We welcomed Big N (who was so little at the time!) and now had someone else who only knew of this home.
It’s funny how another house later, our forever house, and another child who only knows of this home as theirs, I will still say “I’m headed home!” when I text one of those childhood friends for a potential meet up. While I’m creating memories and building that “home” for my two children I still feel a part of me stretched and connected to my childhood home.
Maybe home never changes, it just grows as you do. Yes, I think I like that definition of home. It doesn’t close a book, just starts another chapter in the same book I call “my life”.
Post inspired by natashadomina – thanks for helping me sift through these feelings!