There are many sayings, clichés even, about home.
Everyone knows if you click your ruby slippers together three times and say, “There’s no place like home,” you’ll be transported to Kansas. And, there are songs, books and movies that allude to the phrase, “Home is where the heart is.”
The essence of home can include a house, a town, a group of people. Even smells and tastes conjure up memories of home.
Lately, my sense of home has been a bit clouded. Having been in my current house and city for only five months, I’m still trying to convince my heart that it’s “home” now.
Well, nothing reminds me of the value of home like a vacation. There is always such anticipation leading up to a vacation – the chance to relax, to get away from “the grind” of life, to reconnect with family without the everyday responsibilities of jobs.
Prior to my family’s beach vacation last week, I was so excited to head south. I couldn’t wait to see Elliot’s reaction to the sand, the water and the waves. My parents and brother’s family, including my 8-year-old niece Riley and 4-year-old nephew Andrew, also made the trip. Elliot had a great time building sandcastles, examining seashells, dodging waves (and getting pummeled by them too) and flying a kite.
We are not adventure seekers when it comes to beach vacations. We do not make elaborate plans for activities every day. We usually take one day during the week-long getaway to hit some tourist-y attractions, and we go out to dinner two or three times. That’s it. Nothing fancy. No event overload.
That being said, I definitely felt ready to come home by the end of the week. I never thought I was really big into routines. In some ways, that is true. I don’t have much of a daily routine for myself. But, with Elliot, we have routines, and almost all of them were tossed or modified while on vacation. Many of my rules and preferences also were lax. This is OK to an extent because, as my dad loves to point out, “You’re on vacation!”
But, Elliot consuming three packs of fruit snacks before lunch time without my knowledge? Drinking orange soda for breakfast? Watching five episodes of “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” in a row? Combine these instances with the fact that Elliot did not take a nap one single day we were at the beach, no matter how hard he played, and, yeah, I was ready for vacation to end after seven days.
Upon sharing my thoughts about vacation and home with my friend, she offered: That’s how it’s meant to be. You’re supposed to want to come home. You get refreshed, and you can appreciate home again.
And, I do. Dorothy was right. There’s no place like home.
Originally published on ovparent.com.