For a long time, even after Adventure Guy and I married, I thought of my parents’ house as “home.” I remember showing some pictures to one of the other teachers at my first job. When she asked me where they were taken, I said, “Oh, at my house.” She looked surprised and said the decor didn’t really look like me. “Oh, I meant to say at my mother’s house.”
But really, it took a long time for me to think of my own house as “home.” That shift happened slowly but surely over the last few years we’ve spent in Suburbia, as we established real community with our friends and neighbors, as my children grew up in what is clearly their home town.
That doesn’t mean I don’t thrill a little when we pass the city limits sign of the place where I did my own growing up. This girl will always be from Texas in her heart, and the sight of bluebonnets blooming along the highway makes me deeply happy in a way that few things do. Seeing those fields of blue interspersed with the bright shocks of read Indian paintbrushes instantly transports me back to Easter egg hunts at my great-grandparents’ farm and wild flower drives in the Hill Country during college.
But those wildflowers don’t mean much to my kids. In fact, they know they’ve arrived when we make our first pilgrimage for dinner at one of our favorite TexMex places–the one that supplies liberal amounts of what they like to call “squeezy butter” for the flour tortillas hot from the presses. I try not to think about the lack of actual dairy product in those containers!
We’re all fortified by different things in life. But whether that grounding comes from beautiful scenery, visiting with four generations of family, or eating plenty of processed “spread,” we know we’re better off having come ‘home’ even if it’s only for a little while.