A Year of Gifts
What does “home” mean to you? Is it the dwelling you live in now? Is it the place where you grew up? Is it where you spend the majority of your time?
For me, it is all of those things and more. What “home” means to me is also evolving. Even though I moved away from my hometown when I left for college a long time ago, I still consider that town and my parent’s house to be “home”. Of course, the house we have raised our own kids in is also “home”. We still have one child at home with us yet, but our middle child is away at college and our oldest son graduated from college and has been in his own apartment for a few years now. It took me a long time to get comfortable with him calling his apartment “home”. My house is supposed to be his “home”. I sometimes have to take a step back and remind myself this is exactly how it should be.
We spend years raising our kids with the hope they will grow into responsible, kind adults. So why is it so hard when you suddenly realize you accomplished what you set out to do? They are renting apartments, paying their own bills and decorating their new “homes” in their own styles. Bravo! I am learning to bite my tongue when I start to correct my son when he says he is going “home”.
As a parent, when I was caught up in the everyday “busyness” of life, running three kids around to all of their activities and fighting a sometimes losing battle to keep our house clean, the concept of an empty nest was distant. I know some people look forward to the time when their kids are grown and gone. Personally, I have always dreaded their leaving. If you still have kids underfoot, enjoy it! Don’t worry if the house is messy or there are piles of laundry to be washed. Do enough to keep your home safe and comfortable, but know you will remember playing outside on a sunny afternoon or sledding with them in the winter. So will they. Neither of you will remember the afternoons spent doing all the things you usually feel you “should” be doing. Tolerate a bit of guilt over a less than immaculate house if instead you get to spend your time creating priceless memories with your family. It is often the little things we all remember, the spontaneous moments of fun and joy.
So this is where the evolving part comes in. I have known for decades there are a few special places on this earth I consider “home”. I can’t be selfish. Our kids should get to experience this now too. It is their turn to create their new “homes”. It may be a first dorm room or a first apartment. If they choose to establish new homes far from me, I will need to find a way to accept that as well but it won’t be easy.
Ten years ago, I didn’t want to think about the day my kids wouldn’t all be sleeping under the roof of our home every night. Now it’s our reality. And it is alright. My folks hated it at first too, but they adjusted and thrived. As my grandmother wisely shared with my mom, and my mom shared with me, enjoy every phase of life with your kids. It’s all good.
Enjoy the gift of home, whatever “home” might mean to you.
All my best to you, Kim
Hello everyone and welcome to my blog! My name is Kimberly Diede and I'm a self-published fiction author and family girl. When time permits, I am happiest with a great cup of coffee in one hand and a book in the other. I love to alternate between reading and writing. Winters here can be long, dark and cold. Summers are unpredictable, lovely and always too short. Every season of the year, as in every season of life, is a gift. Let's celebrate it together!