on sunday we flew home. there was an hour delay, lots of wriggling on the airplane, some tears, no sleep… but we survived and arrived.

coming home always mixes me up inside. most of the time, when we’re in our ontarian home, it’s okay. we have our family of friends, we have our work, our church community, our routines. we drink our coffee, keep our skype dates with omi & opa, with friends in canada and in germany. we read sandra boynton books, watch episodes of manon, play farm, dance to the glee soundtrack. we prepare our teaching materials, we go to school, to university, to day care.

& yet… when we return here, to the place where i grew up, the place of ice & snow in winter (though it really is awfully mild right now), where my parents live, where there are so many aunts and uncles and cousins, where there are our favourite places to go on dates, our first apartment, a bakery that makes vegan cinnamon buns, a terrible bus system, the windiest corner in canada… this home calls to me, calls to us. & then i get confused again about what i really want. where i want to be. where i want m to grow up.

there are things i really love about the place we live now. i love our community of friends. i love how challenged i am at university. i love the wonderful school where d has found his job. i love the farmers’ market. i love the mildness of the winter. but…

when i watch m being read to on my father’s lap, when i watch my mother chasing m around and around the living room to great squeals of delight, when i spend an evening with my best best friend, this home calls to me in a way that our new home will never be able to.

i am stretching in two directions, pinned down to the place where i was born, pinned down to the place where my son was born, where our lives changed forever. & stretching hurts a little, sometimes a lot, as my heart fills the space between these two places.

but it is true, i think, that going away makes coming back so much sweeter.