There is a saying that you can never go home again, but I don't believe it's true. Yes, home is something that is constantly evolving but there will always be pieces that makes it feel like it is truly home. From driving down Bay Road in Easton, passing by Wheaton Farm looking for deer, to taking a run thru the neighborhood I grew up in, to spending time with our friends and neighbors in Attleboro, reunions with friends who live far away, to spending quality time with family both immediate and extended, some of which we haven't seen in years.
Sure, we haven't done these things in a year and sometimes we feel like guests rather than locals, but with those that count, we have felt that we are home. Before coming home, I'm always ambivalent. Will it feel like home still? Will we feel like strangers in our own country? Will we feel welcomed? I stress myself out about these things weeks before we arrive. I "interpret" every email wondering, do they really want to see us or are they just doing it out of obligation? I way over think - something Josh is always reminding me of doing.
And then we arrive back and I realize that while some things have (expectedly) changed, others have stayed the same. And for those that change, it's not always in a bad way. People that I expected less of, give more and people that I expected more of, give less. And of course, some stay exactly the same. I feel like I've learned about myself so much in our time away and I've also learned about our relationships - I've stopped seeing them thru rose colored glasses and see people for who they are. Some of these realizations break my heart and others warm it.
Being away is good for us. It has taught us to appreciate the finer things in life. Ok, not always the finer things, because even Target and Toys R Us are more appreciated now than before we left. We look at life and relationships with open eyes. It has taught us to appreciate those that love us and put those that aren't willing to put forth the effort aside. It has also brought us so much closer to many - after all, absence makes the heart grow fonder.
And I think it is good for the kids to see that being away for now doesn't mean being away forever. And that their friends are still their friends, Target will remain standing and our family loves us no matter where we are.
So while I still have several entries to catch up on with people we've seen and things we've done so far, I felt this one needed it's own special entry, short as it is. Because, yes, you can go home again.