Saturday, June 6, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

Half my family is in China. OK, technically it's only a third. And while I'm used to my husband being gone on business trips, I am not used to my daughter being gone for 11 days. It's disconcerting. It's like a part of me is missing all the time. Anyway--that's beside the point. The real point is that you would think with less family here, I would have more time to blog. Sadly, this has not been the case. With her gone and my son on a scout camp, all the weeding, watering and lawn mowing was left to me today. I'm very tired. But apparently, also in need of some self-expression since I'm finally sitting down to add something new.

I just finished reading Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons last week. Very touching little book. It's about a little girl who is orphaned and the road she travels to find safety and love. One of my favorite quotes from the book is:

"I open the door to my house and look around for somebody to squeeze. And she is there each day in the kitchen and that is something when you consider she does not have to be there but she is there so I can squeeze her and be glad."

When our first daughter was born, our budget would not balance based on just my husband's income. But we both believed strongly in me being home so I quit my job and we reduced our outgoings to match our incoming. We have had to do without some things over the years, but we have never looked back.

The quote sums up just one of the reasons why I am home--so that when my little kids come home from school or from playing or from wherever they've been roaming, they'll have someone waiting for them. And while I could be somewhere else, I want to be there for squeezing and for listening and for feeding and loving. I know it's a hard thing sometimes for a family to do, and I know that sometimes there truly is no other choice. But for us, it's been a decision we have never once regretted, no matter the trips we couldn't take or the cars we couldn't drive or the houses we couldn't live in. I would never trade any of that for being able to squeeze my children when they come home and have them be glad I'm there.