Growing up, we moved fairly often. I think the longest we lived in one place was for about seven years so that I could go through junior high and high school in one place. So because of this I really never had a strong feeling for “home” as a place. Sometimes I longed for that cliched house to grow up in and as a parent now myself I sometimes feel guilt that my children might not have that either.
The issue has gotten even more complicated for me as we have moved abroad and started our journey into parenthood more than 2,ooo miles away from the place we called home. Now on our visits “home” even my native country feels somehow foreign as things, people, and places have changed while we have too albeit separately. For the first week or so of being back in the U.S., everything just feels so weird…familiar but different.
But then we start seeing all the family and friends we have missed and the pieces of home start to come together. Because for me now, that is what home is-pieces of a puzzle that all fit together in my heart. Each place we have lived has shaped me, impacted me, gifted me with friends that have become family, and broadened my horizons.
If my children continue to live these nomadic lives drifting from place to place, I hope they don’t see themselves as ‘rootless’ or feel like they don’t fit in anywhere. Instead I hope they will learn as I have that it is a gift to feel at home in many places. And to know that it’s not a place that grounds you, but the people in your life who give you roots.