My youngest daughter is one year old; she’ll be two soon. In her short life, she has lived in three different apartments. We have spent most of this summer moving and settling into our latest abode.
At this point I find myself reflecting on what it means to call a place home. My own perception of home differs from the traditional definition of home as a physical address. For me, home is less about a particular building and more about being in the presence of loved ones that know and accept me.
I suppose that’s easy for me to say. I’m a grown woman, and my sense of who I am and what’s important in life is already solidified. The same cannot yet be said about my children. Many times I have pondered about what impact our frequent moving will have on these little ones.
Rather than cherishing a particular building, I hope my children see that things are just things, but healthy relationships are to be valued and invested in. For now, I think it’s too early to tell. My daughters are just glad that our new apartment complex has a playground with a slide. And as for my baby boy, as long as he has milk, he’s content.
One advantage of moving frequently is the constant opportunity to purge our possessions. We make a conscious effort to avoid the accumulation of unnecessary objects (even if they are being given away for free). Moving often makes hoarding inconvenient, and so I prefer to travel light. The process of shedding unnecessary baggage is actually quite liberating.
Perhaps one day, we’ll be able to put down physical roots and settle in a house for more than a few years at a time. When that happens, I hope we don’t forget the lessons that this season has taught us. Home is not so much a tangible structure built with bricks and mortar. Home is being in the presence of the ones that reciprocate the love we have for them.
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