A month or so ago, I shared my pal Dr. Leesha’s advice about not trying to escape but instead trying to build a life you didn’t need to escape from. I’ve thought a lot about that; especially in light of Lily’s recent shunt failure, my ensuing anxiety and fears and now on this drive home from our first “big” vacation in a long time.
Before the pandemic, I was always ready to leave and always willing to stay away for as long as possible. I never wanted to go home; instead I wanted to go, go, go. But sometime during the pandemic, my need to escape shifted. Yes, I still want to go, go, go; but I also want to return and I am looking forward to it.
We loved our home before 2020; but it never quite felt permanent to me. I am not sure why—but I am guessing it has something to do with me always leaving or wanting to leave. 2020, of course, turned us all into reluctant homebodies. For me this also turned my focus to my town and the friends we had in town. Those casual relationships I had became something more—something permanent and familial.
Eldridge (Which is what I call our current house) became our home in our hometown.
Then Lily’s shunt failed and that hometown held us tighter than I felt possible. I can truly say I’ve never experienced anything like that sort of spontaneous love and support before. We were surrounded and our children were surrounded.
I sometimes joke that our town is like Stars Hollow—with nutty characters and small town drama. And it is; but it is also filled with people who love us and people we love. People who drop books on our doorstep and show up to rally our daughter through recovery and who take our kids with a moments notice.
It is a town I never want to escape from—sure I’ll hop away for a week—but in the end, there is no place I’d rather be.