“When I think of home I think of a place where there is love overflowing.” -“Home,” The Wiz
I have many families. And this fact has become quite apparent to me as I left my father, mother, and brother and moved four hours away to start the next exciting phase of my life: college! In this sense, I use the word “family” in the most generic way the word is used: those that I am biologically related to. But here I digress:
At one time or another I mentioned my “Spanish family”- the family I lived with for a week when I visited Spain junior year of high school. Please do not doubt that we were (are) a family. They are my family in every sense of the word save biological. For a week they took me in as one of their own- a sister, a daughter. I think about them nearly every day, which is quite a lot compared to how much time I actually spent with them. I hold a special place in their hears and they in mine, and I know we all look forward to the day I can return to see them again.
I know what you’re thinking: “Great. She has a family. So what?” Humor me by allowing me to indulge in one final anecdote:
You have already heard about both of my wonderful roommates. But merely gushing my appreciation for them is not enough. Since September, they have become my family. I miss them when we are apart and always want to share my life with them. Cute boy talks to me? You can bet that I can’t wait to get back to the room to squeal to them about it! The idea of going home for the holidays and not having them with me is not only odd, but slightly alarming to me. But the extent of our familial connection doesn’t end here. Our biological families have adopted each of us into the fold; B is coming home with me for fall break, and A’s mom has our school addresses so she can send us things. A’s boyfriend gave us permission to interrogate him in the place of her parents and give him our approval (he’s a keeper!). And you can bet that no potential suitor is getting anywhere without receiving the roomie stamp of approval. We look out for each other. We are family.
Home, as much as it can be a place (there is, after all, no place like home) is just as much, if not more so, people. Home is knowing mom has a shoulder to cry on. Home is your best friend laughing at all your inside jokes and not getting tired of them no matter how often you tell them. Home is looking in his eyes and feeling completely at ease even when your stomach is doing back flips.
“I was told every day in my childhood, even when we grow old: home should be where the heart is- never were words so true…” -“Home,” Beauty and the Beast
So, yes- I have many families. I hope you do too I hope you have a whole network of families to love and be loved by. People who make you smile just by thinking about them. Because, after all, home never really leaves you. It’s always right there with you. Inside you. You.