One of the most cloyingly saccharine cliches of all time? Yes. True? Also yes. Sort of.
It's been an incredibly eventful three weeks. At the end of June, my sister underwent major abdominal surgery to repair a major diastasis caused by two back-to-back large pregnancies. On that same day Marc and I headed up on the Megabus to Massachusetts for a fun long July 4th weekend of family (including our two delicious little LeVasseur nephews!), wine, fun, and going through endless boxes of nostalgia from his childhood as his parents prepare to put their gorgeous house on the market. The baby pictures! The metric tons of books! The middle school poetry! Oh, the earnest and terrible middle school poetry...
Then last weekend, I flew to SC for a whirlwind celebration of the twins' third birthday with family (third!!!), helping out my sister, who is recovering beautifully in every sense of the word. Just shy of three days of nonstop work, play, and extreme highs and lows of overstimulated and excited toddlers. Coming back, I snapped immediately back into doula-mode and helped a fantastic couple as they brought their tiny new daughter into the world.
Also, I've powered through three Harry Potter books in the last 3 1/2 weeks. That has had no less of an emotional/nostalgic effect on me...Plus all kinds of other things I won't get into that various friends/family are going through - health challenges, emotional upheavals, big changes.
So, there's been a lot going on, and there's been a lot to say about what's going on, but I haven't been able to distill any of it into a blog-worthy 'lesson' or phrase or clean, clear tie to yoga.
The one thing that does come to mind as I struggle to articulate the aftermath of all of this dusting up of old memories is actually something that happened in a kids' yoga class I taught last week (which feels like ten years ago now!). We were sharing a big fuzzy ball with our feet (cause hands are just too easy!) and taking turns sharing our name / age / and something else about ourselves. That last is usually "favorite color" or "favorite flavor ice cream," but if a kid has another idea, I'm always up for it. (One kid wanted everyone to share what our favorite pairs of pants were) . This particular little girl said we should share, "the favorite house in our family."
I was sort of surprised with the force with which that hit me. I thought about the LeVasseur home in Mass., and how it's been Marc's home since he was 7 years old and where we celebrated his brother's wedding and ours.
I thought about how my family moved around more in my childhood, and I loved my home in Virginia that I spent my middle & high school years in - but my mom had to sell it to care for my Granddaddy my freshman year of college, so I had to say goodbye to it long ago. Which of course makes me think of my grandmother's house, which up until 5 years ago was my biggest definition of home or a home base.
There's also my sister's home, which I think she moved into maybe five and a half or six years ago now - maybe longer? That's definitely my new home base, along with the LeVasseur house, my brother-in-law's house in Jersey, and though we can't afford to go there often, the Costa Rica house! My mom is going to be moving, after many years, into a place of her own, and I could not possibly be more excited about gaining a new home base and more importantly, for her gaining a new home base.
And our own apartment, of course - I love this place more than any other place that's been "mine," but no apartment lasts forever in this city, unfortunately - especially as everyone keeps figuring out how awesome Astoria is and making it more expensive. I'd love it to be our place for years to come, but there's just no certainty.
When it was my turn to share and answer my young student's question, I said my favorite house in my family was my sister's, because it was where my niece and two of my nephews live. There was a bittersweetness - the bitter of having not just one solid nostalgic childhood home of my own, of thinking of those homes that are no longer in my life, but also the sweetness in having so many scattered beautiful pockets of homes in our family to choose from.
So back to the saccharine title of this blog. If home is where the heart is, what is the heart? Is it where we are, wherever we are? The people we love? Our blood family, our chosen family? I think it's all of it. My mom always tells me, particularly in the years after she moved when I was in college and I was struggling to handle the change in a home base, that my home is wherever she is. It is that, and it's where my sister, my in-laws, Atlas, Zoe, Caleb, Kai, and Lucas are. My home is always wherever Marc is.
Now more than ever, I'm bitterly and sweetly aware that the only constant in life is change. Babies turn into kids who turn into grown-ups. People move. Homes are sold, apartments lost. Relationships change. Home where we feel a pull to return and where we feel a drive to start anew, and wherever there are those who love us.
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