word of the day: home \ˈhōm\ one's place of residence; relaxed and comfortable
Lily, Norah, and I traveled back to Des Moines at the end of July. The trip was made up of four 8 hour days of travel on either end of the stay and could not have been made possible without strategically placed Flinkmen in Illinois to allow for a mid-way stop. I could probably devote a whole post to the trip itself, but I also think I could sum up the reason for its success in a single word: Bribery.
But that’s not really what I want to write about.
Before we left on said trip, I found myself trying very hard not to use the phrase, “We’re going home” when talking about the trip in advance. A small thing, but I’m always thinking about words, so I tend to focus on verbiage. Avoidance of the phrase felt like a small pledge of allegiance to Cleveland. You know, still doing my part to “cleave” and all. I think I was kind of desperate to feel like Cleveland was my home. I mean it is my home. But sometimes it doesn’t feel like home.
Des Moines is my home too, though. I mean, Lily slept in a room that was mine as a first grader and Jake and I spent the first seven years of our married lives there.
“Home” is an intangible I suppose. It can be defined, but it also can’t. It’s a place, but it’s also kind of a feeling. It’s muddy.
I started typing tonight thinking that this would end with me saying that I finally understand the intangible nature of “home.” That home is wherever there are people who love my family and me (because I’ve experienced a lot of that in a few different states over the past few weeks).
There’s certainly truth in that, but really, what I can’t stop thinking about is how I never feel fully at home unless I’m with Jake. I’m more relaxed and more comfortable and less crazy whenever he’s around. I thought I’d go home to Des Moines and dread coming back to my home in Cleveland. Instead, I just wanted to get back here, so I could be with him.
(Is this the sappy anniversary post I can never bring myself to write?)
Our life in Cleveland isn’t easy (whose life is anyway?), but when I step back and gain some perspective, I remember that we’re here, and we’re together, and that that’s home. And I like that.
So, now I’m home. And I spend 12 hours a day with a two-year-old and a nine-month-old. On that note, if anyone from the Food Network ever happens to read this, I need you to know that I have your next hit show. It stars me, and I will cook particularly ordinary meals while two tiny humans move quickly around at my feet. It will be chaotic and relatable. Mid-cooking montages will include helpful tips on how to manage cooking with toddlers, babies, or both (e.g., chopping vegetables in advance during nap time in case you have to cook dinner one-handed, strategically placed tupperware drawers, and bribery).
If you’re not on board with bribery, you wouldn’t like my show. Or going on road trips with my children and me.
(I'm sorely lacking a winking faced emoji right about now.)