Home. It’s a place many take for granted, and a place that others long for. But home isn’t walls and a roof. Home is a feeling. Home is a place where you are free to be whoever you are. A place where you are accepted for yourself – quirks and all.
And home doesn’t necessarily have to be where you live. It doesn’t even have to be with your blood relatives. Home is where you are comfortable.
I guess I take this for granted. In our house, A- is who she is without judgement. Her true self – that quirky, silly, weird oddball is someone I love and treasure. I wouldn’t change her for the world. As long as she follows the rules, is a good human being and behaves herself in public, is kind and respectful of others – what more can I ask? I wouldn’t change her personality for anything. I like her just the way she is. She makes me laugh. She said today that there were only two people on this earth that really knew her. Two people (one of them being myself) that she felt completely comfortable with – two people who knew her inside and out everything there was to know about her and who saw her at her best and at her worst, who have seen her being her true self, as weird as it comes. It’s a freeing thing to be able to be yourself. I would think that she wouldn’t even have to THINK about being herself with me, after all, I’m her mom – but to find another person on this earth that you can let your guard down with, someone you are so comfortable with that you can be whoever you are without fear of them judging you or thinking less of you – that is a wonderful thing.
Not everyone has that. Not everyone can be themselves – even at home with the people who are supposed to love them. I know as a kid I could never COMPLETELY be myself, I had to be pretty careful about what I said or did at home, but I never remember not being able to just be silly or goofy. I know someone who feels that way. Not only do they feel like they can’t be themselves at home, but they feel they would be judged harshly if they showed any of their true personality. This kid is great. They have a great sense of humor, they are kind, and overall just a good person. Yes, they are quirky as hell – so is my daughter. So am I. They are weird, and odd in so many ways – and that makes them the unique individual they are. I am an oddball. I am strange in so many ways. They shouldn’t have to hide that. Especially at home. Yet they never refer to their house as “home.” They refer to it as “my mom’s” or “my dad’s.” Never home. They never utter a sentence like “when I get home I’m going to…” or “When I get home I will…” They spend a good bit of time at my house and a few days ago they caught themselves saying “When we get home…” they stopped and got a little embarrassed, and then asked if it was okay that they thought of my house as home. Part of me felt really good that they felt that comfortable at my house. Part of me felt really good that they are able to be themselves around me and know that I am not going to judge their personality, because it makes them who they are – and I happen to like who they are. Part of me thought it was very very sad that their family doesn’t know the same person that I do. Their family has no idea what this person is really truly like. They have said that they can’t be themselves with their family because their family would never understand or accept them. I keep looking, trying to figure out just what is “wrong” with them, and I can’t for the life of me figure out what it is. I can’t find what is unseemly or unacceptable about their behavior. I don’t get it.
I do know how sad it is that they are never at home when they are home. And that led me to thinking tonight about how home is a feeling. It’s the knowledge that you are accepted. It has nothing to do with where you live. And everyone deserves the chance to feel at home somewhere.