A home is being surrounded by warm love. It is a place where you are cared for. I have not one home, but two. Switching back and forth has never been easy, but it has been worth it. Without it, I would not have all my brothers and sisters. All seven of them. Blood or not, we are a family. My homes have never been quiet. Everywhere you turn laughter, singing, crying, and screaming fills the air. The chaotic environment may seem uncomfortable, but for me it feels safe and lively.
The long days of school and practice busy our days. The Sundays at church purify our souls to prepare for the next week. Every day is a unique fresh start. From the spilled milk and banana peels on the counter, to rushing to make it to school on time. From the heavenly smell of pancakes and eggs on a relaxing weekend morning, to the struggle of everyone getting to bed early for school. Everything revolves around home: the feeling, the warmth, and the life.
A home is not just the insulation that fills the walls. A home is not just paneling on the roof. A home is not just the carpet on the living room floor. Home is the constant sound radiating around us. Home is the smell of sizzling beef on taco Tuesday. Home is the comfort you crave when feeling sad.
Either when I’m in the car twisting through the gravel driveway or when I’m turning in the cul de sac, I am home. At my mom’s house, it is my brother and me. When I’m at my dad’s house, it’s my three brothers and sister. Sadly, all my older sisters have moved out of the house. All the memories we created in the one room we shared are in the past. When I step inside, I throw my shoes off and lay them in the garage. My sisters are almost always in the kitchen making something exquisite. My brothers are dodging each other while playing tag. I take a deep breath and think how lucky I am to have this big loving family.
As everyone moves out of home to start their own adult life, a portion of my heart will always be with them. Even though my whole family doesn’t live together, whenever I’m with them I am home. I have learned through my family’s separation a home is not a house. It’s almost like a home is more of a feeling than a place. I don’t remember what it’s like to have both my parents living in the same house. Some people may see that as a burden, but I see it as a blessing. I have grown and found my true family. The people I can go to when feeling blue. The people who know who I truly am, through the heartbreak and hardships I’ve been through. No house is flawless, but every home is perfect in its own unique way.