When you mention the word, "home", the memories that one word invokes are as varied as the people who remember them. For some, home was a place of safety and comfort. For some, home was a place of unconditional love and acceptance. For some, sadly, home was a place of ridicule, abuse and condemnation. Those memories are powerful. They either offer a welcoming beckon to return or an unseen force that propels us as far away as we can get, trying to outrun the haunting emotions that accompany them.
We were just on vacation in Charleston, SC. It is an amazingly beautiful place, rich in history, amazing food, beaches and botanicals that are pleasing to the eye and offer aromas that surround you and draw you closer. Our family doesn't get away a lot since the vacation budget is way down at the bottom of the totem pole. Thanks to the amazing kindness of friends who let us stay in their vacation home, though, there we were in May...quite possibly the best month ever to visit Charleston. I may, however, be slightly biased because May is the month that the jasmine is intoxicating at every turn!!
At any rate, the plan was to stay for a week. A week of fun, relaxation, not having to plan what's next on the menu for me to fix, watching movies, playing in the waves, experiencing the places we learned about in history...well, you get the idea. I was a pretty happy girl. We didn't tell the kids we were going until a few days before we left and, if you're a parent, the reasons for that need no explanation!! We spent the days before in excitement, though, plotting and planning what we would do while we were there. To say we were thrilled to get away from the responsibilities of life and experience something new would be an understatement and we did until we'd been there for approximately 3 days and then it happened...
They started wanting to go home.
Initially I found it a little perplexing and then it bordered on annoying until it hit me...we have created the kind of home environment that draws our kids back, no matter where they are or what they're doing. Home is a place of enjoyment where they are totally accepted and loved unconditionally. It's not fancy, but it's a place of comfort and the place they'd rather be more than anywhere else.
My heart is full!!
I didn't go to college and earn a degree for all I wanted to do was be a wife and a Mama. Granted, it can be a rather thankless job at times, but it was what I wanted to be more than anything else in the world...and I wanted to be good at it. I wanted to create the kind of home that drew my kids back. I wanted them to see something or smell something when they were out exploring the world and have it remind them of home. I wanted them to eat a dish that made them think, "Well, it's good, but not as good as Mama makes." Are these selfish desires or lofty goals? Sometimes the line between the two gets muddled, but they are there none-the-less.
So here I sit on my back porch, savoring the smell of jasmine (He's good like that to let it bloom right as I return) and reflecting on an "almost week" of fun and making memories. Our oldest two children didn't get to go on this trip because they are becoming responsible adults now (*wink**wink*) and couldn't get away so I was happy to come home and see our oldest daughter who was still here. I was also almost excited to find out that when our oldest son left yesterday he forgot a bag of dirty clothes (he's responsible, but forgetful ;0) ) because it meant I could wash them and then drive to meet him this afternoon where he is working for the weekend and have some time over dinner with him. Coming home early has had it's perks and it's made me realize that, while I could maybe have done a lot of things better, I did one thing really right...
I helped make HOME somewhere our family loves to be!!!