Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Home is where the heart is

Home is where the heart is, and right now my heart is in Newtown, Connecticut.

I don't feel quite at home here in Houston right now. I'm headed to Connecticut tomorrow. It will be hard. It's the worst reason ever to visit a place, but I will still be able to see friends and loved ones. I'll be able to hug necks. I'll be able to see that in the midst of the unbelievable tragedy that has hit my town, there is some sort of normalcy (is there?) or at the very least that it's still the same town that we love.

2004: Amanda and Kyle 3 months before we moved to Newtown

I lived there for over 6 years and have been away just under 2. I suppose that six years is long enough to claim a place as home. I'm not sure, but what I do know is that certain times of your life hold more of your heart: college, the first place you lived on your own, the places your babies were born, and the places they grew up.

2006?:  Amanda and Kyle in Newtown
The years my kids spent in Connecticut were formative ones. It's Amanda's childhood home. She started school there. She was baptized there. She started Middle School. She was a child when we arrived and was on the cusp of adolescence when we left. She left behind friends who she had known what seemed to her to be her entire life.

Kyle was just a newborn baby when we left Texas for Connecticut. By the time we left he was a confident 6 1/2 year old boy. His world expanded as he left my home and went to preschool. I relinquished even more control as I put him on the bus each day for Kindergarten, and even more when he started school full time in first grade. He made friends -- good friends. He left behind people he had literally known his entire life.

2010: Amanda and Kyle in Newtown, about 6 months before we left
Whether it's because I "got" Connecticut and it got me, or because of the time in our lives that we lived there, Connecticut will forever be home. I claim my dual status as a Connecticut Yankee and a Texan. It doesn't matter why, but it is home.

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This video has made me a bit of a blubbering mess. The song "This is Home" speaks to my heart. Seeing the sights that were so dear to us makes my heart ache for home: the library, the beautiful view from the flagpole down the hill, the exit I took off the highway several times each week, the flag that someone painted on a tree that we saw on the side of the highway just as we entered Newtown,  the Labor Day parade, ice cream at Ferris Acres dairy farm, snow in Sandy Hook Village, Edmond Town Hall.