There’s no place like home!
There really is no place like home. And whilst it was nice to have a change of scene, and the company of good friends, we’re glad to be back.
All weekend whilst we were away the girls whinged and wailed and screamed and clung to me for dear life until I thought I might explode. They are coming down with chicken pox, have nasty coughs and were really out of sorts. This is when being home REALLY matters.
What is it with being at home? Is it the simple fact of familiarity, the comfort of having our things around us, or the knowledge that we don’t need to be on show? Home holds the space so that we can just get on with being, nothing extra is required of us.
We understand “home” viscerally… even when we’re very small. I really got this last year, when we went over to the US, just me and baba, and she, at only 3 months was out of sorts from the moment we left home, until the moment we got back. They were like this today too. The moment we arrived home, they came back to themselves. They were still ill, but they were home.
Only last week dear hubby and I were discussing if, after a year of living at the Pink House it felt like “home”. And you know, it does. Not just because it’s ours, after years of living with family and in rented accommodation. Not just because we are able to invest ourselves in the garden, because we’re close to family, or in the village of my birth. And certainly not because we’ve made our “stamp” on it. Far from it! The interior of the house was lovely when we looked around the house, with the beautiful antique furniture of a single old lady, and very clean and tidy. Now it is filled with the detritus of life with three small kiddies and two messy parents – overflowing with plastic toys, recycling which has been liberated from the bin, three day old half eaten biscuits awaiting reclamation by the baba, half-finished craft projects, plants in various stages of aliveness, hundreds of kiddies drawings on paper… and walls, a smell that we can’t identify, a water tank with a life of its own, lots of scattered cushions – on the floor, numerous laundry mountains – clean and dirty, and our rather scruffy second hand furniture.
But you know, it’s home. And all the scruffiness is what makes it ours. They are our pictures and books, toys and clothes, our table where so many meals have been shared. It wouldn’t grace the cover of any magazine: and in my dreams I’d love room for a yoga studio/ teaching room, a writing space, a bedroom for each of the children, a guest bedroom, a larger lawn, an acre of wildflower meadow, a hot tub… . It’s nothing fancy, and often I apologise for it. But this is home, small but perfectly formed. This is where we get to be us, fully: it is our second skin, like your favourite sock with the hole – tatty but loved. It smells like us, looks like us, it shares our heart, holds our dreams and cradles our togetherness.
And you, dear reader, what does home feel like for you? Have you found a home? Made a home? Is it still a childhood memory or a fantasy for the future?