January 04, 2012

Light bulb moment

Happy new year, friends and neighbors. I’m back.

I spent the past couple months lost in holiday-induced time lapses. The last two weeks we went back to Colorado, a long-awaited return home. Before we left, Kurt asked if I was even going to be able to come back. At the time, I wasn’t sure. Texas has not been a dream come true, after all, and the idea of being home, seeing all the places and people I’ve missed, was just too shiny to look beyond.

But I did come back and turns out, this is home, too. We had such a great time, saw family and hugged friends, visited old haunts. The day we visited our old house, now empty of everything but memories, was hard. But when we took a walk along the familiar streets of the neighborhood, stopping at the nearby playground and around to the park where Anna’s bus stop was, the nostalgia became more bearable somehow. The kids grew cranky at the same old parts, started fussing and whining on that last three blocks uphill back to the house. Same old complaints, too: we’re HUNGRY, we’re so THIRSTY, our legs are so SORE.

Incited the same old parental irritation, too, you better believe.

As bittersweet as it all was, it also reminded me of what helped me when we first found out about the move. Our home isn’t a place, it’s a family. Kurt, the kids, me. We’re still the same wherever we are. They still whine about their terribly sore legs and unbearable thirst when we walk to the park here in the Lone Star State. It’s still annoying.

Colorado was beautiful. We had a great big snow storm just before Christmas, giving the girls the snowmen and sledding they have missed. My brothers lavished the girls with uncle-y (is that a word?) attention. My oldest brother, in fact, now has them trained to call him Uncle Awesome. They seem to have forgotten he was ever a John at all.

There was too much food and we all reveled in it. The baby cried all night most nights and we all suffered it. 9 and 10 close family members crammed into one house for two weeks brought forth the expected amount of claustrophobia and reminiscences. I got to laugh and cry with my friends, drink too much (or just enough?) and suck down more candy and cookies than I’ve eaten in the previous 50 weeks entirely. I finished THREE whole books, sitting and reading in one place for more than a few minutes at a time.

In general, it was really great, if utterly exhausting. New Year’s Eve, my mom watched the kids while Kurt and I escaped to our favorite little restaurant (if you’re in the Springs, get yourself over to Carlos Bistro RIGHT NOW. Let him pick your wine. He is never wrong.).

“So, time to head back to Texas,” Kurt commented over dinner. “Are you ready?"

Before I even thought about it, the words just popped out of my mouth. “Yeah, I’m so ready to go home.”

Home. A new home, a strange home, often a lonely home, but a home nonetheless. We pulled up into the driveway and I had a happy little jump in my chest as I walked into the living room. My couches looked welcoming, the kitchen begged for some attention. Jack’s nursery, where he would sleep straight through the night, eagerly called out. Our rooms, familiar possessions, my very own bed.

My home.

I miss my friends and family (and Carlos Bistro), but this trip gave me a gift I wasn’t expecting, too; a chance to see this new place in a new light.

All that said, that light is now shining on our messy kitchen. Many things have changed in the past year but one truth will forever hold: dishes and laundry have no beginning and no end. Fighting that is like running backwards on Escher’s stairs. It won’t get you anywhere. Might as well just stay where you are and make the most of it.

“My life will always have dirty dishes. If this sink can become a place of contemplation, let me learn constancy here.” Gunilla Norris


Lea said...

I love this because it's so true. After having moved around quite a bit, it's always funny to me how it can seem so hard to leave a place and people behind, but before you know it, you've actually moved on. I'm glad that you've found some peace in your new surroundings. Happy new year!

Adie said...

Happy to hear you had a great trip. We will have to head over to Carlos'. Would still like to arrange a meet up when we are in Dallas this summer! we may even be there in March.

Lisa said...

Yep. Really, to all of your words Megna... YEP!

Jennifer said...

I love this too. It's so true. I miss Colorado a lot sometimes. I miss our old dining spots and I miss my friends....uh....but they've mostly all moved away too. It's funny how you think of one place as "home" but when you're there there's always a part of you that's ready to get back "home" to the new place. You're right, it's all about family=home instead of the place you reside.

Miss you so very much. <3

Grandmem said...

It was so wonderful to have you here, but I really was hoping that you would have exactly this reaction when you got home to your own space. Love you!