It was once said in a famous saying of a classic movie:
There’s no place like home.
Well could anything be more accurate? It is, after all, a place that is nothing like the mall or a gas station or a Chick Fil A (unless, of course, you live at Chick Fil A — which I may as well have in 2013 when we lived across from one).
Because “home” is not really as much a dot on a map as it is a place in that small little cranny of your heart of hearts that nothing can ever move or take away.
And so I shuffle around this house: Home-making. Nesting. Building, moment by moment, the place that builds these children. I tuck them in with well-worn lovies, wash their grass-stained pants, bake their sandwich bread and sweep their crumbs. I scrub that one part of the shower that is so darn hard to clean and drink out of the coffee mug with the soft chip on the edge. I pet my Azaleas and sweet talk my Euryops and sweep my porch as though the job were given to me by God Himself.
And really, wasn’t it?
Even the most majestic of places don’t live on after you leave them. The most awe-inspiring museums are only stains in vacation photos. The most thrilling of amusement parks are but receipts stuffed in desk drawers.
But the home is where little boys grow to be men, where little girls grow to be women, where 30-something-year-old moms grow to be old. And in all this growing, we are rooting. Digging in deep. Becoming more ourselves as we’re nourished with eggs and bacon on Sunday mornings and bedtime prayers whispered in a moonlit room.
Too often we think we need to become world travelers to discover ourselves, but oh you know the old saying about looking for something and then realizing it’s right where you started from.
Home is where we start. And what, I think, we continue to look for as soon as we leave it.
And as I sit on this couch with the milk-stained arm next to a wadded up sun dress and a crinkled sleeping bag and an empty coffee mug, next to a carpet of crumbs and scattered toys — and is that sippy cup leaking? — I am tempted to ask aloud in this rare quiet moment: who made this mess?
But ah, it is all in the making of a home.
And it is all so very worth it.