Reverb 12: Day 4

Place: What places anchored you this year?  Or were you in search of new places and spaces to call your own and call home?  Describe the place you love and why it means so much to you.

I call two places home: my house, and my parents’ house.

I’m pretty sure that when you’re 37 years old, it’s not cool to call your parents’ house “home.” And yet, when we go to visit my parents and people ask where we’re going for the weekend, I always say “I’m going home.” As you can imagine, this has caused a number of quirked eyebrows, before I quickly correct myself and explain that I’m going to visit my parents.

I moved away after high school, when I was 17 (I’m a November baby, remember?) to go to university, so as of next year, it’ll be 20 years since I left “home.” While I do think of the house I share with my husband and kids as “home,” too, there’s nothing quite so comforting as visiting my parents. At my own house, there’s always something to clean or organize, a task to cross off the checklist or a new checklist to create, a load of laundry to throw in or a stack of dishes to deal with. Or, if I ignore those things, there’s the guilt to deal with. When I go “home,” I help my mom out, of course, but she’s pretty much in charge of the cooking and cleaning, and my kids end up spending a lot of time with their grandma and grandpa, leaving me time to do…well…nothing much.

“Home” can be better than a hotel (though I do enjoy hotels). At “home,” you don’t have to worry that the comforter on the bed has been used by someone else. There’s no housekeeping knocking on your door, no strangers walking down the hallways at weird hours, no surly front desk staff you have to deal with. There’s just comfort, warmth (in the figurative sense, because my parents like a cold house), and familiarity, and what’s more grounding than that?

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