Last week, I spent five days working in San Diego. It was my first trip ever to the West Coast, and I’m excited to say I’ve finally gotten to that part of the country. Although I’m not fluent enough in Spanish to have felt at home, being so close to the Mexican border. I really need to brush up on those skills – although I can ask for a lemonade and pronounce the President-Elect’s campaign slogan in Spanish pretty well.
As much as I love visiting cities, I never feel fully comfortable. Number one could be because I’ve lived a very sheltered life. Not as sheltered as most people from Western PA, but I haven’t been to that many places. I’m certainly very open minded, and I’ll travel just about anywhere that my company wants me to go. Unfortunately they’re usually asking me to go to Washington DC (which is fine, I love DC) or Williamsburg (great town for history!). So when I get to go to CALIFORNIA I’m pretty excited.
But as we walked through the gaslamp district, which is wonderful, I still missed the cracked sidewalks of Grove City and the wind that blows up the hill in East Butler directly at my 60 year old house (which is great in winter!). As I scooted around the bums sitting on the sidewalks begging for change, I missed dodging the skunks that frequent my backyard. Most of all, I kept feeling like part of me was missing, and I realized that part of me was my child, who was back at home.
For some reason this trip was hard for me – I missed Lyric a ton. I even broke down in tears before I left her – I kept telling myself to suck it up, that I’ve done this before and it wasn’t that big of a deal. I think now that she’s a little older and we have daily conversations that actually make sense, being away from her was so much harder. And the fact of the matter was, she doesn’t talk on the phone. It’s like pulling teeth to get her to have a phone conversation, so as much as I wanted to talk to her, she wouldn’t do it.
Getting off the plane at Pittsburgh International last Wednesday was a wonderful relief – I felt like a weight had been lifted off of me when I called Ryan to tell him I’d be home in about an hour. When I arrived home, Red was the first one I saw, and if you think that a dog doesn’t feel emotions, I’ll show you what Red was like when I walked through the door. I’ve never seen him happier. That was a homecoming in itself, along with Boots nonchalantly rubbing on my ankles then scurrying away.
I tiptoed up the stairs to the bedroom to find Lyric and Ryan already in bed for the night, but Lyric popped her head up when I came in the room and yelled, “Mommy! You’re home! I missed you, Mom!” and proceeded to give me lots of hugs and kisses. I can’t even describe the feeling of wholeness in that moment – to finally be back where I belonged, in my old house on the hill in East Butler, surrounded by the people I love more than anything.
Family is good.