There's No Place Like Home
|(image from justbringthechocolate.com)|
I've been without a car for two weeks now. The pile of junk that's been masquerading as my husband's car has become feeble and weak, like an old man, coughing, shaking and sputtering. We drive it the four blocks to church, but that's as far as I trust it. Mostly because we could walk if it died altogether.
This has led to my unwilling confinement. The walls of my home have steadily moved inward until I feel like I'm living in a closet. The noises that are a normal part of our everyday routine are louder, bouncing off the ceiling and echoing in my head. It's not that I have so many places to go, but it's nice to have the option, especially when the diet Coke craving raises its ugly head.
It makes me sad, to feel so dissatisfied and impatient with our home. I love it. We've been here for five and a half blessed years. Our search for this house didn't take long. All of the powers of the universe aligned so that our old house sold and we found this one in the same week. I knew as soon as I walked in that this was ours. Not because of any specific aesthetics, there are no curved staircases or grand, sprawling rooms. I didn't know what it was at the time. How I knew was that I cried. I entered the kitchen and a lump grew in my throat. This was my kitchen. We had prayed and prayed for guidance in finding our new home, and now I knew.
What I didn't know was that the home we chose was much more than the building that houses our furniture. This is our home because of the spirit that we try to fill it with. A place of safety and security. Whatever the world may throw at us, we always have a place. In addition, what we needed, were the people who live in the houses around us. As much as bedrooms and bathrooms (3 of them, which, I must say, is fabulous!) was a neighborhood and a ward (church congregation) filled with people who would help mold my children's lives.
The infinite power of home has become more real to me lately. Just a couple weeks ago, Adam, our oldest was home for Christmas. It was so nice having him here for more than just a weekend. (He started at Job Corps in September.) He made a comment, almost casually, that he hated it at Job Corps and hated that he had to go back. I explained that he didn't have to, no one would force him. In a rare moment of grown-up maturity, he said he was going to finish so he could get his diploma. He made me proud.
He came home again the next weekend. After a couple days of tension and general not-getting-along, we drove him back. We've done this many times, but this night was different. I knew he wasn't happy and I knew he didn't want to go. I hugged him and got in the car. Watching his back as he walked away, my heart was lead, so heavy it hurt my chest. Something about his retreating form brought me to tears. I cried all the way home.
Home. This is the place we've created for our children to be happy and strong. It isn't perfect and it isn't grand. But it is our haven. And, like many times in my mothering life, I knew. I knew that my son needed to be home. I wrote him a letter. I told him that it was his choice, but that this was his home and there may not be much space, but there would always be a place for him. He was always wanted and welcome here.
The Handy Man picked him up on Friday for another weekend visit. His first words to me were, "Can I stay home? For good?" Of course. If home is nothing else, it is an open door. It is arms wide, welcoming and accepting. It is the knowledge that here you are loved and here you are secure.
So, the walls may be closing in, but they are our walls. The space is small, but it's our space. Our home.