It’s not “home” as I once knew it.
It’s not where I grew up, where I spent years of learning, maturing, laughing, crying, working and resting.
It is not where I rolled on the ground with the dogs, flung hay around for the cows’ lunch, learned to drive, or spent endless hours in my bedroom dreaming and pining for the kind of romantic adventures I had read about. It’s not where I fought with my brother, or where we spent hours recording ourselves on cassette tapes as we played Mario Bros. or watched Degrassi.
My brother thought the tapes would be worth money one day.
It is not where I used to sing opera at the top of my lungs in the hay loft, or dance around the calf stalls singing “16 Going on 17” when I was supposed to be cleaning.
No, it is not the home I grew-up in; still, it is home.
It is where my parents live and now, so do we.
Myself, my husband and our 3 year old son. Five of us under one roof. I am glad that we have our own space upstairs and will be much more glad when our things arrive and we have our space filled with our things. We have always been 3. The trinity. A perfect triangle. The 3 Amigos.
There has been an adjustment period as we have expanded our triangle into a pentagon. The 5 Amigos. Or, as my son likes to point-out, the perfect finger family.
I get impatient with adjustment periods. I want to be settled NOW. I am hard on myself when I feel like I should be doing better, I should be feeling better, I should be more settled, I should have everything set-up and all the details under control. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s only been 1 week. Well, 1 week and 3 days.
Although it has been, in actuality, a short period of time, it has felt as though we have been suspended in this unusual state for many months. I have gone in and out and around various stages of mourning. In the past few days I have cried over the loss of what had been routine family times, back when it was just the 3 of us.
I have missed coming-downstairs on Sunday morning, after my husband let me sleep-in, to find my boys, sweetly, playing together. I would turn-on classical 96.3 FM and sit at the table with my toast, eggs and tea and just soak-in the sweetness of our trinity.
These moments are gone. They have become memories that feel terribly distant and teasingly close all at the same time.
But, new moments and new memories are already beginning to establish themselves like the first green buds that poke out of the ground after a forest fire. New life full of new stories and sweet memories are already springing-up. My husband and I have shared many of these while watching our son with his grandparents; when he goes to help Nana feed the birds or bursts out laughing and says “You’re funny, Grampa!” in response to almost anything Grampa says.
And this evening I had a moment of pure perfection while bathing my son. I sat on the little, white stool that he uses to climb up onto the toilet or stands on at the sink to brush his teeth and watched him playing in the tub. As I watched him, the sweet smell of lavender baby wash circled around me and the song “Don’t Grow Up So Fast” by Train played quietly behind me, I realized that life couldn’t get any better than that moment.
Perfection. 100% pure perfection.
I wanted to seize on it, to tie it down, to capture it forever.
In an attempt to trap the moment as long as I possibly could, I hit repeat on my phone. I sat there soaking in the sweetness, trying desperately to ensure that it was securely planted deep within my mind, somewhere it would never be lost.
I did this another 4 times.
And I thought the thought that I have had many times since arriving here:
I could get used to this.