“Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to” – John Ed Pearce
Two nights ago, I returned from a 9 day vacation in Indiana – sans Jason and internet access – where I visited my family.
I chose to return on Wednesday because I did not want to fly on September 11.
For a few brief moments on the flight, morbid thoughts of a plane crash flashed through my mind. I took Kaia’s round face into my hands and stroked the wisps of fine brown hair from her forehead, peering into the reflection of clouds in her eyes. I smiled and told her I loved her so much. And then I kissed the top of Indi’s head and patted her bum in the Moby. I was reminded of the reality and fragility of our mere mortalness, as thin and transparent as the air our plane soared through. And like the clouds in Kaia’s eyes, the thoughts swiftly floated away, out of my vision, out of my mind, vaporizing into space.
Vacation was more exhausting than being at home, but in that “I’m so thrilled to see my family and friends that I can’t sit still, take a nap, or miss out on a moment” kind of way. My Mama is an incredible Grams and I got a sneak peek of what it must feel like to be a celebrity who has a nanny travel everywhere with them: my Mama was constantly helping with the kids, entertaining them, feeding them, changing diapers, or just plain snuggling them. I guess she had alot of practice as a single mama of four.
We missed Daddy and the girls didn’t adhere to his rule of “No growing up on me until you return”. Nope. They became more nimble and stronger. They laughed and loved until their hearts grew larger. And then they melted in his arms as they embraced him at the airport, becoming tiny girls once again; Kaia galloping through the crowd of weary travelers and Indi peeking out of the Moby with her prismatic blue eyes.
Kaia awoke the next morning on Indiana time: 6:00 am. No bueno. Later than night, spent and dizzy from all the travel, I did a singular Camel pose in my living room on a whim. The stretch was intense and opening. It felt as if my body were building a bridge from once place to another, from “Home” to “home”. I knew then that my body was home.
I miss the wise ol’ green trees and the smell of humidity hanging in the air. I miss my siblings and the crinkle of their eyes as we giggle about our childhood. I miss how my Kaia sparkles in the sunlight of the parks as she cavorts on the old, unsafe, wonderful playground equipment of my youth and how Indi smiles as she basks in the coolness of the grass. I miss my friends and the way we curl our legs up in the car at the Sonic drive in and turn to each other saying “Ooohhh, let’s reminisce!”. I miss my Mama’s familiar sleepy eyes and her genuine interest in my crazy life. I miss my family’s tradition of fighting voraciously with spoons for nibbles of mudslide pie at a local Mexican joint, devouring the entire pan in moments.
And I miss the comfort of finishing my morning sleep with Indi in a warm bed just recently vacated by my Mama, in a home my Mama grew up in (with perfect allys for “trash-picking”) and in which my grandparents – long gone – lived and loved beyond words.