I am learning much more about myself living under my mother’s roof for the second time than I ever thought was possible. I knew that moving my loud and crazy family back into my mother’s small and tidy place with me would have amazing moments of sheer horror.
The truth is you can never go home. That place you leave in your teens, that place of warmth and safety losses its ability as easily as a fairy learns she can’t fly in the rain. Her wings, the walls that she holds so importantly, loose their magic. As an adult you have to rebuild new walls of safety and new ways of finding warmth so that you can be sustained during the times of trouble.
That comforter, that bed, that window you looked out for so many years, just isn’t the same. The food, the music, the day to day changes without you in it, and trying to go back to what it once was is impossible. The safe haven that I had as a child is gone.
But now, I don’t have a safe haven. I don’t have my own world, my own home to decorate with my safety blankets. I don’t have a place that contorts to my body and allows me to rest in comfort. I don’t have my space, my little knick-knacks, my little details that declare so loudly that I am home; I am safe.
We put up my mother’s Christmas tree and decorations today; and what has always been an absolute time of joy for me was robbed by the reality that none of it was mine. There were pieces from my childhood that I pulled out with a smile, but still it wasn’t my pieces; my pieces are buried in a storage place somewhere far away.
I am missing my tree, although it looks just like my mothers. I am missing the ornaments that my children made; I didn’t want the ornaments that I as a child made. I am missing the groaning my husband makes as he lugs all my bins down, and watches me try and sort them all. My husband didn’t groan with my mother’s tree – it was a chore, not a tradition.
I know in my heart that one day very soon I am going to be back in my own world. It may even be by this time next year. But until it is, I will continue to be a guest in someone else’s world, and long for that little ornament my child made with his heart.