I see you.
I see you working tirelessly to cultivate this feeling in hotels over birthdays and holidays. I see you tearing through cardboard boxes, rushing to set up your new place, desperate to make it feel less sterile. I see you buying a Christmas tree on December 23 while your belongings are in storage across the country. I see you stringing hastily-made ornaments with coerced enthusiasm. I see you while he is away, clinging to routines and forcing yourself to make new ones — while a piece of your home is halfway across the world.
I see you as you gather up your things from yet another duty station, as the movers pack up your favorite decor. I see you as you double-check inventory on a list, praying your favorite vase is still intact. I see you as you move between the men carrying boxes, vaguely recognizing your belongings in a place that feels foreign once again.
I see you as you try to explain to your kids why we have to get on a plane to see relatives. Or spend birthdays on Facetime. I see you scrolling through your newsfeed, as you click the heart button on the glimpses of a baby shower you couldn’t attend. I see you as you try to remember your current zip code at the gas station pump or when you hesitantly ask a new friend to be your emergency contact.
Sweet military mama, worrying about how so many sets of four walls will ever feel like home, fearful of how your kids will make new friends at each new place you go; I see you. I am you.
Do you know the best part of this crazy life?
Do you know the armor we get to wrap our children in?
We get to share that home is more than just a physical description of the place we live, it’s a feeling. People. Friends that turn into family. It’s the gift of wings and courage, adaptability and resilience. We are grounding them in roots; roots that look much different than I thought they would, roots that grow into wings.
I am learning too. I’m learning our roots aren’t in a zip code, but memories. Memories we carry with us anywhere in the world. Our comfort doesn’t always come from the constant of a hometown, but the feeling of home our family creates anywhere. I can teach my children skills I never had, skills much different than knowing all the backroads.
I will not be able to measure their height on the same door frame each year, but I can tell them how we spent my daughter’s third birthday on a beach in Florida and my son’s second throwing snowballs in the Midwest. I get to share with them how it feels when we unpack our things in a new house. Then again a few weeks later when it truly starts to feel like ours.
I see you, sweet and worried mama, terrified of how you will give your children a sense of home when your address changes so frequently. But I beg of you, hear and remember this:
Home has nothing to do with your street name and everything to do with the words, feelings, and actions inside the four walls of where you rest your head at night. Home isn’t a zip code or a place you spent your childhood; it’s a life that is built — intentionally, lovingly.
Anywhere you are.Read comments