There is a reason “Home” is called “Home,” and I’m not quite sure where mine is right now. I’m sort of in between worlds. See, I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio (don’t make fun!), but I have lived on Cape Cod every summer of my life– and now year-round for 14 years. That’s a long time! I think I finally qualify for the “local” special at the diner, and I can legit say I hate summer people (even though I don’t–just the traffic).
I’ve lived on Cape Cod longer than I’ve lived anywhere, other than Cleveland (15 years). I spent many years in New York City (10) and Boston (3). But, now, I guess Cape Cod is my home, or well, it’s where I own a house and raise my children and have a job. So that’s home? It doesn’t always feel like it.
The reason I bring this confusion up is this: my partner lives in Cleveland, many of my best friends live here, and a lot of my heart is, well, here.
But my children are not.
I thought about this today when the airplane was landing in Cleveland, and I could see the snow covering the acres of flat ground. The familiar grey sky had cover from Lake Eerie, and I felt a sense of relief.
“Ah, I’m home,” I thought, stepping off the plane and seeing the “Welcome to Cleveland” sign in Hopkins International Airport.
But, when I was taking off in the plane, I cried. I cried because I missed my kids. I saw them this very morning, but I felt so far away, and I was scared. I was scared that maybe something would happen on my flight, and that I’d never see them again. And maybe I was a terrible parent for flying and leaving them behind, even though they are safe with their father for the weekend. I sent my daughter a text on her Gizmo (for those not in the know, a Gizmo is like an Apple Watch for kids, where they can get a call or text from their parents or send a limited set of texts). I said, “I love you so much! I miss you already.” I also texted my parents (who now live on the East Coast).
When I arrived in Cleveland, I was greeted by my boyfriend, and we then met up with my best friend from high school for lunch. It was so nice! I was so happy and thought, “Yay! I am home!” This is where I’m meant to be!
But part of me is missing.
A big part. My kids.
And I know, deep down, this is not where I live. I’m just a visitor.
I just wish it could all be one. I wish I could feel whole in one of the places.
Wherever I am, someone I love is missing.
So what makes a home a home?
You tell me.