I'm going home.
No. I'm going back to Texas. This is home. This is what made me. This is my place.
This is where I always feel like I belong. This is where I am never the odd one out, never the only one who's parents don't have a long history of hunting or roaming on large pieces of land or saying y'all. No one here boasts constantly about how much better their state is than any other place on Earth, which I find so refreshing.
People here think that 90 is too hot and 40 isn't that cold and I feel that those people are sane. You know, not a single person here assumes I named my dog after Indiana Jones instead of the state. They all get it and love it. I like that.
I have a pit in my stomach from the ball of emotions this departure always elicits. I feel sad, anxious, excited, guilty, disappointed, ready, and unwilling. I feel my throat tighten and my eyes well when discussing the gathering and packing of the four thousands little pieces of myself and my children that are scattered around this house...and it's not just because picking up sort of sucks.
I don't want to go, but I don't really want to stay.
Each time I start to pack I feel that I haven't had enough time to soak in the wonder of my childhood home, the peace of my family. I don't want to end the joy of seeing my children with my parents, and the thrill of their ability to roam all around my parent's property to explore.
I want to linger on memory lane a little longer. I want to see the sites and soak it in.
I haven't had enough time with Alissa, Sara, and Julie to quench my need for these types of people next to me, physically present. I have really good friends in Texas, but it's simply different with someone that has known you with braces, making bad decisions about boys, and has spent a lot of time with your family.
I crave these friends when I am away. On the bad days I dream about being able to hop in a car to see Kathryn or tell Alissa to come over, just because I really want her with me....and know that there is little that would keep her from coming.
I am anxious to get back to the routine of life and a separate bedroom for my children so I have a chance to sleep again. I know I will quickly fall back into our normal patterns of grocery store runs, trips to the gym and nap time. I know this will feel comforting, but as I prepare to leave here it is difficult to relish in that, knowing I'm leaving all this.
I know that months will pass before I see my parents again and next time they might seem a little older, a little less capable. While I'm cleaning children's messes and running errands my parents are here doing their thing and we are all missing out on what is left...and I pray there is a lot left. I can't help but feel a rise of panic when I say goodbye though because it seems like far too much could change between now and our next meeting.
How many more times do I get to come to my childhood home before my parents finally decide that the yard, the tennis court, the stairs, the space are all just too much for the two of them? How many more nights do I get to be in MY room? How much longer do I get to sit on the patio and listen to the click and swish of my parents' sprinkler system, which somehow has come to be extraordinarily comforting and soothing to my soul?
When is it all going to shift? When are my parents no longer going to be in the exact role that I left them in? When will this no longer feel like my home?
I don't want these changes.
I haven't had enough time to marvel at my parents use of the words bowel movement when discussing my children's poop...or when they are feeling short on time, B.M. I want my Mom to talk about "overhauls" instead of overalls and watch my Dad's face scrunch in confusion as I explain for the millionth time who Amy Winehouse is.
I want to stay. I want to go.
I want to freeze time here and move forward in Texas.
It just doesn't seem like too much to ask, right?
Whether I want to or not though, tomorrow will come and I will find myself in a minivan with three kids, a dog, and my mother-in-law driving for a hotel in Arkansas. Thursday I will pull into my driveway in Texas and no doubt will find that exciting.
I will get to be with my husband again and that by itself is almost enough to make me want to hop in the van right now, but it doesn't erase the sadness of leaving here. I will mourn the end of time here, and will no doubt find comfort in my daily life there....but right now it's killing me.
Leaving is not fun. Just not fun at all.
Oh, and I'm going to have to take my three kids with me everywhere when I get home since no one else will be around to watch them. Now I am seriously crying.