Others have survived it: children coming home for the summer. From college. From total freedom. From no governor but their own sweet sense of things. From clothes carpets on bedroom floors and late night gatherings. From volume on high.
To home they come. Home, where parents are and rules are and sleep is celebrated (the kind where waking at 6:30 AM means eight hours of pillow time). Home, where counter tops enjoy the freedom of being unlittered. Home, where nooks of reading and silence are savored. Home, where socks go into the dirty clothes basket. Home, where dulcet tones waft from the stereo speakers. Home, where parents have the crazy notion that they might have some input into the quality of life lived in their domicile.
I love my children. Maybe most especially because my middle daughter who is newly graduated from college shared with me that she and her friends became aware that they don’t live in their “own” homes any more. They live in our homes. Theirs, surely, but the parental splash that makes for “ours” changes everything. (Or at least I like to believe it does).
We’re figuring it out. Do we like to have their friends over? Yes. Do we want to come home after a long day of work to ten of them crowding the kitchen and denuding the refrigerator? No. Will we survive this? Yes.
To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven (thanks, Ecclesiastes). This is the season of welcoming and boundary making and negotiating and asserting. We’ll survive it and more. I trust that.
Perhaps more troubling is the notion that once the lights go off as the sun is coming up and my children have gone to bed, the crusty socks that call our house home are off reproducing in the dark corners and under-couch lairs they seem to prefer. They are taking over the house…..
It is strange to find yourself calling the place in which you grew up “my parents’ house” more often than using the word “home.” I haven’t lived in the home I grew up in for almost 7 years, but it’s just beginning to feel like my home now is here, in a new place, with a new family member. However, the place in which I grew up will always be the home of my childhood memories and will always be a special place for me. It is exciting and beautiful and tear-full all at the same time.
It IS an emotional jumble. Speaking as mom, I never want for my kids to not feel home. There is always space full of love for them to climb into, no matter what. Leah is moving to Denver on Monday and I am tearful about that… her home is where she is but I pray to God it is always where her mom and dad are, too. e