Monday, December 19, 2011
Arrived tonight in my hometown of Natick, Massachusetts.
The day was a travel blur, getting the kids out the door early in the morning, and spending most of the day cooped up on an airplane. (here's a picture of them eating some last San Francisco sourdough bread on the flight). When we got here, it was a rush of settling in, getting everyone dinner and pajamas and hauling all of our suitcases upstairs. I barely had time to look around, until I got the kids tucked into bed and then stepped outside into the night air.
A cold, clear night. Still, quiet, in that non-city way. Stars. Christmas lights decorating the houses. And I breathed in the familiarity of this place. My hometown - it's like a part of my skin, so ingrained that I don't think about it, the curves of the sidewalks, the streetlights, the shapes of the trees. This, despite the fact that 2012 will mean I have spent as many years living away from here, as I did living here.
It doesn't matter - the first 18 years of life here shaped my identity, and in the following 18 years I have always come back. Mom and Dad are still here, in the same house I grew up in. They've made some changes to the house, of course, and my perception of it has shifted over the years - but it is still truly the place of my roots.
Being here at Christmastime is especially special. My mother loves to decorate, and this year she has gone all out with snowmen and holly and musical-toys and Christmas tableware. The children are thrilled. For me, it's all quite familiar - but she points out that this is only the second time we've been here on Christmas morning with our kids. Every other year we've divided our time between Greg's family and our Plattsburgh family. I think it just feels so familiar because this is where I spent all of my first Christmases, in this routine of home.
It will be a busy week - we are also taking two days to go see Greg's parents in New Jersey, and then filling the rest of the days with cookie-baking, long walks, get-togethers with other family members, and exploring Mom and Dad's brand-new camper!
Posted by Shana at 9:06 PM