I remember an essay question from a test in High School English. “Can you ever really go home?” For the life of me, I cannot remember the book that this essay question related to, but the question has always stuck in my head for all of these years.
The first week of Faith’s life was spent in a hotel room. The next three weeks, were spent at my parent’s house. In the words of Meranda Lambert, it was “The House That Built Me.”
I am forever grateful for my parents for welcoming us warmly without knowing when we would leave. Just as precious as those first days when we got to spend time with Faith’s birthmother in the hospital, were those first weeks that I spent raising my daughter in the room I hadn’t spent any time in since I was a teenager. Rocking my baby to sleep in the room that I spent my high school years was a little surreal. I still have random pictures stuck up around the room, my shelves are still semi-filled with memorabilia. My curio cabinet filled with mementos of all of my years dancing still stands against one wall. It all waits for me to come and claim it one day… but that’s what we really have parents for isn’t it? Storage?
It didn’t take long for me to realize that when you are home, old habits die hard. I remember where the creaks were in the floor walking from my bedroom to the bathroom, dodging them was a skill I had honed well growing up. However, my dad has redone most of the floor, so those creaks aren’t there… that didn’t stop me from trying to dodge them. With the floors recently redone, I almost tripped down the first step downstairs almost daily. You see, there used to be a ridge that you could feel with your foot. You’d feel it and know that a couple inches further was the first step down. Not feeling that ridge, the first step comes really fast!
Then there was the bathroom. And this may sound really weird, but I noticed that I would face a certain way when I was in the bathroom. It was totally inconvenient to doing anything. But I had always done it and never thought twice. Well, as I was thinking about it I remembered why I had always done it since I was little.
The bathroom has two entrances. One into my parents room and the other out into the hallway by two bedrooms. My brothers once told me that I should always face the door to the hallway. Mom and Dad’s room was the other way, so no monsters or killers would try to enter that way. If someone was going to “get me” it would be from the other door. So…. I always face the hall door.
I don’t know if there is a “right” answer to the question of “Can you ever really go home?” But my answer right now is, Yes. You can go home. You will change, home will change, but the meaning of home and the feeling of home will never change.