Home is…Where?

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Home is where the heart is.

That’s the way the saying goes and I believe it. I can feel at home anywhere in the world if I have my husband and my children.

Lately, I’ve been trying to remember when “going home” came to mean going to the place where I have put down roots with my husband and grown our family. When “going home” stopped referring to returning to the place I grew up. To the people who raised me into who I am today.

Every time I visit family and friends in my hometown, I get asked “When are you moving back home?” I struggle with how to answer the question. I don’t want to offend anyone by admitting that we don’t want to move back because we have made “home” wherever we have landed over the years. When we are on longer trips to visit family, I can’t wait to “go home.” It doesn’t diminish my joy at being with my family. It doesn’t mean I don’t value my childhood or the people who surrounded and carried me through good times and bad.

While I always associated “home” with a place, I have come to understand that it’s more about the people. We are the roots of their growing branches, and I plan to nurture the roots.

Let’s talk about roots.

I grew up in a large family with extended family close by and plenty of friends who feel like family. When we visit, I can feel the blanket of loving memories as we spend time together and make new memories. I am so blessed to have places to return to and people who can bring back the fun of my childhood in a heartbeat.

These are the people who taught me what it means to have roots. That unconditional support that allowed me to grow my branches wide and find my way in the world. I could take chances and risks because I felt secure “home” would always be there for me. No matter where life’s roads took me, I could come home. Going to college far away from home felt safe knowing I had “home” waiting for me. Moving to a new city with my new fiancé was exciting and not scary because I had “home.”

As our new family grew, somewhere along the way we began to lay down roots. To create that feeling for my own kids. I think it started when we started our own traditions for our little family. Things that were different from the traditions of my childhood and my husband’s. At times, traveling for holidays interrupts these and I now miss and crave our traditions just as much as the ones I remember from my own childhood.

Let’s give ourselves some grace this holiday season as we navigate the holiday season. Make time to nurture your roots, whatever that may look like for your family.

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