Thanks for letting me come home for Thanksgiving. I would have hitchhiked my way, but it was nice to see someone actually show up at the train station before I fell asleep with my luggage.
Home felt pretty good this time around, and I think I figured out some of the things that make it feel like home. That’s such a strange word for me, and I’m still figuring out what that word is hard for me to use, but I don’t have a better substitute. So here are some things I realized about the place I call home. Warning: it’s about to get sappy. It’s Christmas and it snowed today and…ahh, strings of lights or not, it was always going to be sappy. So.
Home is where you plop down on the kitchen floor and laugh because you’re too tired to stand or think or do anything other than be some sort of emotional. And because it’s home, you don’t wake up the next day and wonder how laughing hysterically has affected your reputation.
Home is also where you can chase people around trying to be affectionate to them and they may not want it and you don’t care if they do or not. You’re not doing it because you met that person on your dorm floor who likes hugs and you feel like you should probably encourage them; you’re doing it because it’s family and you’re so darn glad to see them. And it’s your sister, whom you haven’t seen in an eternity and your brain doesn’t have interesting words to tell her how much you love her so you kiss her instead. Or try to.
Home is where you fall asleep in total silence. It’s where you realize for the first time why people use white noise machines, and you feel so sorry for them and their lives of perpetual noise.
Home is where you can see the stars instead of stoplights. There aren’t crosswalks to watch for and pedestrians to avoid running over. The only red lights at home are the ones on your car when you pull into the driveway too fast. And you don’t care that the neighbors will probably have an opinion on that at the Christmas party, because you’ve done it a thousand times before and this time you’re not in a hurry because you have stuff to do; you’re in a hurry because inside is home and family and more interesting things than speed limits.
Home is where you yell at the dinner table and throw peas and eat an entire pie yourself. It’s where the world’s best food is made with more love than that house can hold. Home is where you wake up feeling guilty for sleeping in so late but your mom made you coffee and the day begins with a little sip of heaven.
Home is where you sit and crochet and don’t fidget about the homework that you brought back because home means rest and peace. Home doesn’t give peace, but it creates the space for it. And then God and the love of family fills it and you take it back to school and find the energy to power through the last three weeks of school.
I’ll probably not be as retrospective about home as soon as I leave my cozy place beside this Christmas tree. I’ll probably not be as gracious when I tell you about Candlelight Carols rehearsals. I’ll probably not be as enthusiastic about home as soon as I start writing that paper I’m avoiding.
Oh, well. At least you know for now.
Maybe missing you,