I heard it for the first time a few days into our big Toronto adventure as we were driving away from our afternoon meeting at Corus Entertainment. It had been Cameron’s and my first face-to-face with the people we would be working with on the commercial shoot. It had been a good meeting. Everyone was nice and Cameron had been completely doted on.
“Can we go on a ‘hairplane’ and go back to our home?”
It is what Cameron calls the few square feet behind the red door. It is what he says as the roof of our condo building rolls over the horizon while we drive around the corner a few blocks away.
“No buddy. We have a few more days here in Toronto before we can go back to our home. We will stay in a hotel for a little while and then go back to Abuela’s house for a few nights. We still need to go on Treehouse and play with Tiger the dog. You will have so much fun over the next few days!”
Home is overflowing with Cameron’s cars. It is where Daddy comes to after work. It is where Mommy sings to him as he climbs in and out bed – his own bed. It is where Mommy and Daddy stand in the kitchen and cook dinner and hug and tickle and grab each other’s bums because they love each other and because at home, you can be silly like that. It is where the couch always has Mommy’s blanket and Daddy’s blanket and when you need to snuggle you get to pick which one you want to use.
“Ok! I am going to be on Treehouse!” Cameron exclaimed, sidetracked at least for the moment.
I have always had a hard time feeling like our dwelling is home. It has always been too small, even before we had children. To me, this place is clutter and mess. Those toys on the floor represent repetitive pain and repressed curse words. This place does not contain comfort and warmth between its walls like a home should.
Cameron has never been homesick before – or at least, not that I’ve noticed. He has missed his Dad or I on the few occasions when we have been apart. But this wasn’t the case while we were in Toronto. And he was having the time of his life being loved on by his grandmother and running around with her dog and playing with the babysitter on the video shoot. Everything in Toronto was great for Cam.
Except it wasn’t home.
As the trip wound to a close and I got all the big exciting things done that I had travelled to Toronto to do, I realized that Cameron wasn’t the only homesick one.
In order to be homesick, you need to have a home to be sick about. Not a home that you’re sick over.
I missed having a space to move and be and schedule as I desired. I missed the quiet and the peace and the our-kind-of-crazy.
I missed the ordinary.
And yes, I missed our home. Even the mess and the cold and the clutter and those stupid blocks that I always step on! Because it is all a manifestation of my family. Home isn’t just where the heart is. Home is where we begin. Home is where we retreat to when the adventure ends. And home is where it is okay for life to unravel a little bit, revealing the chaos and the clutter and the mess right in the midst of beauty and growth.