Three weeks is a long time to be away from home. We had a great time traveling to see family in Arizona and California. The Bundles bonded quickly to aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. We are so blessed to have many loving relatives. If only
I left home in the fall of 1999 and really haven't lived there since. Every time I have come back it has felt like a visit rather than a returning home. Perhaps some of that has to do with the fact that my parents no longer live in the home I spent some of my childhood years growing up. Life goes on. My sisters have their own homes and families. There isn't this one place I can come back to where I feel right at home.
There have been many visits over the years. Even whole summers spent after each college year, but perhaps in some way I still felt displaced. The town that most of my family lives in now feels like a long ago chapter in my life. But something changed this time. We decided to spend two weeks with my large family and something funny happened. I felt at home. Not in one single place. Not in a house at all. I felt at home with family. The casual week night dinners. The sisters popping over to do laundry or run on the treadmill or clean the house. Hugging sweet friends and going to the local grocery store and seeing people I went to high school with and playing on the playground across from Grandpa's house while watching the new goslings waddle into the pond. Sigh. I have never liked being the family celebrity who swoops in for a whirlwind weekend visit. This trip felt largely like normal life.
I'm guessing life would be different if we actually lived there though. With jobs and school and to-do lists. But the flight all the way back across the country felt really long this time. It took all day. I became painfully aware that the home God has made for me here is far from the home with family I left behind.
In the same breath that I sigh at the thought of my kids being far removed from their 15 cousins I also feel a deep contentment for the home God has built for us here. Perhaps it is just exhaustion after a long trip but I really do love it here. There is nothing like being home.
One day during our trip, Brother said from the back seat as I pulled up to Grammie's house, "Awww. Home sweet home!"
I am thankful that with 2 years between visits he can still see home in the family that loves him. Because sometimes being home isn't about a house at all. My heart lies on both coasts for the first time.
Tonight at dinner, Brother asked if this was all our family [sitting at the table] like he often does. He went on to say that something was missing. "What's missing?" I asked. "More kids!" he said. And that was the moment that I realized the home--the family-- that God is making for us here will be something sweeter than I can ever find trying to return to 1999.
Oh to be blessed with TWO loving families (the family I grew up in and the family others will grow up in) when some are born without even one. My heart aches tonight for the child/ren that will join our family in God's perfect timing. So that they may know that feeling of being home in a family no matter where they go from here.