Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Home.....Where we belong
I get asked this question a lot, especially when people find out I grew up in Northern Ireland. You see, much to the horror of my family, I have lost my accent just a wee bit! Sometimes, people are really surprised when I tell them that I did not grow up here in the States.As a teenager, the idea of living in another country seemed appealing, but never in my wildest dreams did I ever think it might happen. I was quite a homebody and would become horribly homesick any time I went away from home. As a child, I would stay overnight with my grandparents; they lived about 20 miles away.I have memories of them having to drive me back home because I would be crying so much.When I stepped onto that Aer Lingus flight from Dublin to Chicago on Aug. 15, 1998 to spend a year at college, the excitement of a year away was much anticipated. I did drag my feet a little in making the decision to go, though, because I loved where I grew up.It was my home.I really had no intentions of meeting the love of my life, getting married, moving to the United States permanently and raising my family here, but thankfully, I am not the one in control of my life.I do miss certain things about Northern Ireland: the breathtaking scenery, the greenness of the grass year-round, the friendliness and humor of the people, drinking tea and eating chocolate biscuits with good friends.
Over the years, though, I think the word “home” has really started to mean something different to me, especially now that we have our own children and I really feel settled here. I understand now that home is just not a physical place but a place where I belong.As much as I miss my immediate family in Northern Ireland, I really feel like this is where I am supposed to be. Home to me now is where I live with my husband and our three boys. I love quotes, and this one sums up our family home: “Where we LOVE is home."
If you ever visit our home, you will probably be most overwhelmingly greeted with a lot of noise. You will see two boys wrestling in the middle of our living room floor, a very cute baby cooing and smiling or possibly screaming for his mama, baskets of laundry - some clean and some not clean - sitting in piles on the couch. But hopefully amidst the craziness and chaos, you will know this is a place of love, forgiveness, growth and strength. A place where we can be ourselves. And the place where we belong.