What Does Home Mean?

Most days when I walk about our neighborhood, watching the way the trees bloom before me and leading the kids along our narrow sidewalk, I think of my own childhood. I am nostalgic; the blooms transport me. While the kids are looking up, begging for a lift to touch a petal, I remain in a memory of my own, the world dissolving into then and there. My grandmother shuffling from one end of her third floor apartment to the next to water her beloved window boxes. Looking down below the fire escape and groaning at the unkempt yard. That house, my mother purchased when I was a preteen. She spent hot afternoons digging in the red earth, my hands filthy, sweat dripping slowly down her high cheeks, the lovely stench and the ruffling of the black plastic laid before the plants were set into the dirt.

Our current apartment has this yard: well manicured and luscious, and every morning since the start of spring, the kids have thrown on their shoes and run out back to start the day. They gawk at the birds and marvel at the tiny ants overtaking the pavement. When I dream of more light, more space, more this and more that, I think of that morning jaunt to the back. What will they remember when they look up at the blooms with children of their own? What will home be to them? When they are older, what will home be to me? Is it where they are? Or will it remain consistent—blooms flowing about, shadowing my daily choices and haphazard events? The voices of little me and little them, echoing in the back of my head, comparing and contrasting in with who I am and who they are in this moment?

When it comes to motherhood and home, what is the memory that you hope they keep and associate with the term home? 

(Image via Gardenista)

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