The expression “there’s no place like home” surely comes into play for our children after a time away, after difficult periods, after challenges that take the air out of their tires – even a little – and they find themselves at last, coming home.
“There’s no place like home” is reflected in their comfort, their laughter, and their carefree commotion – spilling over into every room.
“There’s no place like home” feels most real, to me, when children are close at hand and relaxed; when they’re safe and sound.
My college student was returning home late last night. I was miffed when I saw that air traffic was delayed, I tracked his flight while it was in process, and I exhaled when he arrived. Of course, when I saw his face and put my arms around him – that was heaven.
What parent doesn’t want their children home – especially at the holidays – able to enjoy the individuals they are becoming, and still share in their pleasures and their memories?
This is a difficult time of year for many, and with good reason. We recall other years when things were different – more security, more love, more family.
Having spent holidays alone, I am even more grateful for these next days – both sons are sleeping peacefully as I write this. At this moment, my parental self is completely content.
This isn’t a sensation of excitement – it’s not like the thrill of a child’s first steps or first words, his first prize in the spelling bee or first home run. This is quieter, easier, and somehow more private. I can see the young men I have been raising – the way they own themselves, the way they feel comforted and happy to be home. And I’m proud to be part of their lives.
For now, as a family, we’re all safe and sound. I cannot think of a better gift than this feeling, and this reality: home is genuinely “home” again.
© D A Wolf