I had a conversation with someone today and told him I was going away soon. He asked me where I was going and my answer was home. He was surprised at that answer. He said that he had been in Hawaii almost ten years. He said that for a while whenever his mom sent mail she would put “home” as the return address. He finally told her that that was not his home anymore. That he had lived in Hawaii a long time and that that would likely never be his home again. I can’t say that I feel the same. I lived in my mom’s house, a place that I had never called home before, for six months last year. And I suppose that that small stint of time was enough to make it home in my mind. I am relatively sure that I had never called her house “ home” before now.
Reflecting back on my time in NY as we are on the cusp of visiting, all of us together, I tend to only remember the good (like childbirth). Whenever I hear the NPR show, Talk of the Nation, I recall long mornings of cooking. I had so much time to do that. I had dragged out my mom’s crock pot and would often take over every ounce of counter space. There was a lot of cauliflower. I borrowed a bread machine and would fire it up frequently. My mom, who had assured me she would retire, did not. So I would regularly end up making dinner. My son really liked to play the “waiter” taking everyone’s order at the table. We sat down to eat together almost every night. My mom always had at least one glass of wine from a large cheap bottle featuring a rooster.
When we go to NY this time we will not be staying with my mom. We are three, with LKY, and one more adult in that house and it truly will have reached the tipping point. Part of me mourns that; that I will not be re-creating that home experience when we are there. It is hard to tell how long it may take for that feeling, that ability to readily call NY home may remain. How much longer it might slip off my tongue with such ease. Part of me hopes never.