Whoop de doo! I hear this with an eye roll accompanying it. But that’s not what it means really. Rather, it should be heard like an exaltation. But unfortunately, like many things, it’s true meaning has been lost. We have tainted it. I find it sad…too many good things have lost their luster, and become a sarcastic expression to convey excruciating boredom or even pain. Is this what the holidays have become?
This week, as with many homes across America, my house will be filled to the brim with family. It’s kind of a weird year, because it is the last Thanksgiving where my daughter lives at home. Now don’t get me wrong, I plan on her being home for the next several Thanksgivings, but that’s not really a requirement anymore now is it? School might be crazy preventing her from coming, a job might get in the way, and who knows how long before she’s missing the holidays because she’s spending them with a boy??? It’s all a bit too real..
It makes me think of our own childhood holidays, and what it feels like to “go home” now. In reality, our childhood homes haven’t felt like HOME to Matt and I for a very long time. “Going home” in fact feels quite foreign in reality. It’s not even the most comfortable place to visit for us any longer. HOME is the place we have created together, that is where comfort and belonging truly exists for us.
It’s quite a sad thing really, when I think about my daughter. Some time sooner than later, this home of ours will no longer feel like her HOME. This place will just be a place she visits, full of travel preparations and living out of a bag. It also makes me think of the many many people I know dreading “going home” this week. The many who are so not looking forward to this obligatory trek “home” that doesn’t even feel like home at all. The thought of that is almost more than I can bear. I’m just now dipping my toe into this new realm of mother to an adult, but I know this…I want to know everything I can possibly know about it. I want to know how to be the most accommodating, welcoming, providing hostess…like a bed and breakfast, or an inn keeper. I want this place, this HOME of ours, to be a place of comfort.
I’m reading a book right now that just described our children as temporary guests in our home, that we are playing hostess to for 18 years. The idea seemed strange to me the first time I read it, but as my daughter teeters over the edge of adulthood it seems more and more realistic all the time. I hope it is a whoop de doo kind of celebratory holiday this year, one that leaves a lasting memory of family, togetherness, love, comfort, and rest…a holiday that when confronted with the question next year of weather or not it’s worth the journey “home”, she will be met with a resounding subconscious YES, knowing that she and whomever accompanies her will be welcome here.