One year ago tonight, we were driving home from a vacation in Cape Cod and I wrote about how much I looked forward to returning home, to our house on Eldridge in this slightly wacky neighborhood in this eclectic and loving town.
This morning, when it was much too early, after a much too late night in our town square for the town Solstice Festival, I was at a swim meet for our town summer swim team. We were not at our pool; but at the opponents, but it did not really matter because all those people from our neighborhood and town were there, too.
I thought, this just always feels like home when I am with all these families.
It felt even more like home after one of my daughters had a very emotional time swimming in a relay (she was swimming first and last because a teammate was missing). She was upset and loud and freaking out, but swam her last leg beautifully (and quickly). Afterwards, she was hysterical. And I was beside myself. But then two things happened.
A friend of mine asked me if she was okay and I let loose about how I was not okay. Motherhood is a lot and somedays I fear I don't have it in me to go on with it all. My friend just listened and looked at me and said, "I know."
Suddenly, I did not feel so alone in it all, because home is where you aren't alone.
The second thing was really several second things. Coaches and parents and teammates told Chloe how great she did. They told us how strong she was. And suddenly, Chloe did not feel so alone, she felt, at home.
Home is the place you can lose your shit and a few minutes later laugh, without ever explaining how you transitioned from one mood to the next.
The rest of the day was a revolving door of our town--a birthday party for a classmate of Nick's, a friend of Lily's over for the day, a walk around the neighborhood, a family movie night (each of us sobbing at Dear Evan Hansen) and feeling so settled in a life we've built that we never want to run away from.
I should say, a life our wonderful community built with us, a home.