It’s eerily quiet in the house. Sure, there’s music coming from the radio, but it’s still quiet. Without constant baby noises floating through the air, I’m not sure our house is a home anymore. Without the squeals of delight or screams of “mommy! mommy!” echoing around the walls, it just seems empty.
Home. Home on Deranged. Home is where the heart is. Home, Sweet Home. Love makes a house a home. Home is a person, not a place. The simple pleasures of life happen at home. How often have I lived somewhere, moved somewhere new, and only now understand the meaning of home.
It took a long time to find the “one.” Trips down wrong roads, detours that seemed pointless, curves that nearly derailed me completely. Relationships are a funny thing; just because you give them your all doesn’t mean that you get that much in return. The hard part is knowing when you’ve given enough and it’s time to walk away.
But then it happens. Unexpectedly, even surprisingly. I was looking, I admit it. I wasn’t necessarily looking for him. But he found me, sweeping me off my feet faster than I knew possible. And our little rental house became our home. We made it our safe haven, carving out a buffer against the winds and gales of life.
We switched houses, but the location didn’t matter. It was the love we brought with us, the memories, the good and bad, highs and lows, tears and laughter. Once we decided to add to that home, it was hard to imagine it might not happen. And for a time, we resigned ourselves to the fact that it might not. And then it did. Twice. Little miracles in the package of tiny little babies.
And without realizing it, without planning, my house had become a home. Not the brick and mortar site where we placed all our stuff. No, the house of my heart, that was finally full. I didn’t need the newest furnishings anymore. I didn’t need the updated tile and paint and flooring. I just needed them.
I remember this feeling. When I was young, safely ensconced in my parents’ home. The place that I still referred to as home until the second year of my marriage. Again, good times or bad, there was security there, understanding, a break from the thrashing storms. Even amidst the squabbles, the occasional radio silence during the post-college years, it was the place I knew would welcome me back. Home.
Today, our girls started preschool. As I suspected, Annie, the 2 1/2 year old free spirit, jumped right in, meeting all the new kids, inspecting the lay of the land and picking up a doll to tote around with her. She barely noticed her dad and I as we watched, talking to the director. I like to think that her confidence springs from knowing that her home is waiting, always will be waiting, for her to return. She can spread her wings knowing that she will always have a safe spot to come back to: her home.
Leelou, still just a baby at 15 months, was a little more wary, a bit more cautious. She stuck to me, watching her sister bounce around and taking in the new scenery. She took one or two steps and was quickly swept up by the owner. Her lip was beginning to tremble, but my husband reminded me that she would be fine, once she got involved. Her sister is there to help her, but still… I hope that she remembers we will always come back for her, that without her, our house is not a complete home.
I admit it. I took a nap today. I couldn’t face the house, empty and quiet. I know it will get better. I know that it will become routine. I know that my babies are growing up, but I just want them to stay here, at home, forever.
What does home mean to you? Is it the physical structure, the shared memories, the traditions? Or maybe you take home with you wherever you go. Share your thoughts with me in the comments, because I love to know what other people think!
Thanks to Melissa of Home on Deranged for being our guest blogger this week. Melissa says her family may be wacky, loopy and even deranged, but she loves her little family living their big little life in North Texas. You can read more on Home on Deranged.