When he was zero, I bought a crib and the paint colors we’d need to make a monkey climbing a tree on his wall. Blue with white clouds, the monkey, and another painting of Chief turned an unused room into a home complete for my unborn son.
Artwork, a piggy bank from my childhood, an infant’s tiny washed clothes folded in drawers. They waited for him.
I waited, breathing through every-other-day visits to the clinic where they monitored his heartbeat. Where they monitored mine.
Advanced Maternal Age was stamped on all of my paperwork.
The nurses who shushed the paperwork and saw me for me were home, too.
Home was my car, driving to appointments. I played Elton John, Metallica, Queen, Mozart. My hand on my belly, saying “Feel this, baby. Love the music that makes you feel, no matter what anybody thinks.”
Daddy doesn’t appreciate Metallica enough.
Mommy doesn’t appreciate country music enough.
“Appreciate what makes YOU feel,” I said.
He danced inside of me, and I knew he’d heard.
Home was where my husband and my step-daughter were. They were here, eating dinner with me, although meals were no longer of my making once the doctors said “Bedrest, or baby might die.”
How the doctors and nurses said “baby” rather than “Tucker,” even when we knew who he’d be. Home was knowing his name before he was born.
Home is the house I grew up in that no longer belongs to anybody related to me. Built and ours for a long time, then sold, and no longer ours.
Colorado will always be home. I don’t know if it’ll ever be home to my son, although that’s what we’d planned before entering this particular school system, preschool autism classroom, mainstream-because-it’s-not-autism-after-all, and realizing that government jobs are best held near the nation’s capitol.
If I die tomorrow, I’d like my ashes in Colorado. Unless my son wants them closer to the home he’s been born into which is not mine. It gets complicated.
Home is where I wish and not wish that I were going where they are.
Home is behind me and in front of me and it’s where I lie my head down. There’s comfort in lying one’s head down, even when that happens on a park bench, in a tent, in a hotel, or in the place where most of our stuff is stored.
But really, home is where the person who is of me sleeps and throws his backpack on the floor. Home is in this place, when he’s not here.
Home is where my keyboard and the faces on the bathroom wall I painted live, thinking it looked great and now wonder whether it’s tacky. Home is having somebody I can ask if it’s tacky, who will tell me the truth. I don’t have anybody I can ask. It’s still home, though.
The faces on the bathroom wall mostly laugh, but there’s one that wishes she had arms. She’d like to welcome me home.
She reminds me that home is where my son lies his head down. It’s where I lie mine down, too, and thank all of the stars that for now, that’s the same place.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post and this week’s sentence is “When it comes to home…”