Where we love is home, Home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Yesterday, upon talking with a good friend about coming to visit my family this week, I used the phrase “going home” and he immediately pouted. “I thought your home was here with all of us,” he said in mock despair, and preceded to stick his bottom lip out and give me puppy dog eyes.
He’s right, of course – Tom is used to me calling my parents’ house “home” but he probably had the same reaction the first couple of times. I think partially it comes from still being the baby of my extended family and still being treated as such. I also think it’s a mentality kids automatically get when they go away for college and live in a dorm all four years – all of my dorm rooms or apartments were temporary, and while calling them “home” worked when my roommates drug me “home” at 2AM on a Friday night, the most fitting usage came when my last final was turned in and I was finally able to go home for a break.
As much as I may lament the fact, I’m not in college anymore, and I do consider the apartment I share with my husband and two adorable puppies my “home.” I can’t help it, though, especially sitting at this table watching the snow fall onto frozen Lake Erie, to still call my parents’ condo “home” as well. I can’t help to call it home when I crawl into a fluffy, warm bed overlooking the Cleveland skyline and know that I will wake up to fresh brewed coffee. I especially can’t help calling it home when I am just as contented watching a crappy cop show with my dad as I am shopping for new clothes with my mom.
And maybe this is still “home” not because it is where my heart is all the time, but because it is a place I feel warm, comfortable, and loved. And if that is the case, this “home” is actually one of several moving, ever-changing cocoons of contentment I return to whenever I need a break from this wide, exciting world.
Now if you will excuse me, I’m going to pour another cup of coffee, watch the snow fall, and write.