Saturday, April 16, 2011

H is for Home

There's no place like home.
Is there anything more comforting than home? No. But it always amazes me how there are so many people who don't know what makes a house a home. I often cringe when I hear people say, "You have a beautiful home" because all they see is the house.

So what is a home? Is it the sticks and stones formed into a large box? What about the big TV, the fancy furniture, or the pretty pictures on the wall? I don't think so. These things are stuff, makeup if you will, to hide bare walls and floors of a house. To me, home is where you feel safe. Where you feel loved. It is the one place that despite your faults, failures, successes, moods, or inadequacies, you can be you. It is the heart of you and those closest to you. A home is love.

When I turned 18 and moved away from home, I was told that it was no longer my home. I didn't understand. I have always felt that 'home was where your heart was'. I was moving into an apartment for growth as an adult, but never wanted to have my home torn from me. That simple, final comment became a foundation for me and my family. I have always tried to make a home for my family. Not just a nice house.

I realized what an impact that event was on my life several years ago. My father was criticizing my oldest son. My boys still come home and rummage through the kitchen for something to eat. My father told my son that he had no right to disrespect me that way. It was no longer his home, but his mother's home. I looked at my dad and said, "As long as this is my home, it is my children's home". My mother questioned me and said I never felt comfortable treating her house that way. I just told her, "Because you said it was no longer my home. I was just a guest in your home."

Our home was safe, happy, and full of love. My children will never be "guests" in my home. (Although some times I wish that they would remember that they are over 13.) And now most of my children have grown up, started their own families and homes. I have helped them pack and move into their own houses. And there, they can start new traditions and make homes for their families. But no matter what, everyone of them know that wherever Mom is, will always be their home.

They know that they can always come home.