Several years ago, I watched the movie Garden State. I don’t remember much about it, but there was one line in the movie that stood out.

The main character, who is filled with typical, 20-something angst, says:

You know that point in your life when you realize the house you grew up in isn’t really your home anymore?

You’ll see one day when you move out it just sort of happens one day and it’s gone. You feel like you can never get it back. It’s like you feel homesick for a place that doesn’t even exist. Maybe it’s like this rite of passage. You won’t ever have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, for your kids, for the family you start. It’s like a cycle or something.

I was living on my own at the time in a one-bedroom apartment — it was my first time living away from home, so I found it to be perhaps more poignant than it actually is. However, I think this idea of “creating home” is a big part of life for a young family.

We go from our parents’ homes and family traditions to a new home with new traditions. And we try to recreate that magical, comforting place that lives in our memories for the little ones around us — especially around the holidays.

And for awhile, it still doesn’t totally feel like home — maybe even for years.

Until one day, you drive up to the house after going out of town for Thanksgiving — and the old mailbox that you’ve lost the key to is stuffed with mail. And the driveway is covered with leaves and goldfish crackers. And the livingroom that you painted green when you were just engaged greets you. And the closet upstairs where you’ve stored Christmas decorations holds ornaments that say “baby’s first Christmas.”And you set up the tree. And play Christmas carols. And look around at the children playing on the floor.

And suddenly, you realize:

I’m home.


“Home wasn’t built in a day.” – Jane Sherwood Ace


  1. Franchesca

    This is so true. Sometimes I find myself looking for home and nothing feels like home because i still have this idea of home being Puerto Rico. But when I get to my house here and I sit back and kick my feet up I realize I am home. This is what I have made my home, where Mia has her memories and where I have created new ones.

  2. I thought this when we got “home” last night from a Thanksgiving visit to my parents. It was lovely to have my boys spend the week in my childhood house, but it was just as lovely to return to our own home.

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