I’m writing a book about home.
It’s about a lot of other things too. Cleft lip surgery, apraxia of speech, learning how to be a dad (and a stay-at-home dad at that), faith, challenges, struggles, disappointments, surprises, and above all hope.
But one of the themes that runs through the book is home. Coincidentally, I posted a response to this very same prompt last month. I guess there are only so many writing prompts out there. Sort of like how there’s only six stories that get retold with differing details time and time again.
But just like with the stories, it’s the details that matter. The details that turn “home” into “my home.” The specific things, and more importantly the specific people.
When the time came for us to move, and I walked through that empty house that I describe in Chapter 37 of my book, I find myself remembering the rooms as they were and some of the memories associated with them. The house as a building is no longer home, but the memories still are.
Elsewhere in the book, I return “home” to my parents’ house in the city I lived in through my teenage years—the city I call my hometown. It’s while I’m down there, with Julia and Anna back in Oregon, that I realize that the house and the city I’d reflexively called “home” isn’t home anymore. Home is where my wife and my daughter are. That’s Oregon now. Though I don’t call myself an Oregonian, I’ve become one because my family is here.
And where my family is, that’s home.