Today's Wonder of the World is...Coming Home!
Flickr photo by Blondieyooper
Lately I've been thinking a lot about the wonder of coming home.
It's probably because we've had a rash of happy homecomings lately!
If you live in South Carolina and were awake around 3am Monday night, you might have heard the cheering from one particular homecoming party! A plane full of nearly 400 soldiers returned to South Carolina from Iraq, to hundreds of happy wives, husbands, and kids!
Todd's brother Stu was one of them!
Welcome Home Stu! We're so glad you're back!
Stu had been in Iraq since May. It was his third tour there, so I'm sure he's more than glad to shake the sand out of his shoes! There he is in the picture hugging my sis-in-law Swanee.
I'm sure he's having a big time, catching up with Swanee and their four teenage girls!
And speaking of teenage girls, we had another family homecoming the very same weekend!
It was Sarah's Fall Break.
How nice it was to have all my chicks back in the nest!
Even if my oldest chick spent much of the time running all over creation, seeing her chick friends, who were also home from college!
By the way, notice how classy we are in that picture, with our jar of applesauce on the table and our assorted selection of plastic glasses?
And look who's under the table! Tanner wanted to be part of the togetherness too. That, and he was counting on the fact that someone would drop some chicken noodle bake on the rug just for him! Then he'd gobble down Sam's napkin for dessert. He's not picky!
Sarah's break reminded me of those days back in the Dark Ages, when I came home from college.
Actually it didn't remind me of those days until the second day Sarah was home. We sat at the table and ate lunch together (she ate breakfast--the sleepyhead!) and she told me how her high school friends were teasing her for still having an 11:30 curfew, even though she was living on her own in college!
I remember having that same conversation with my mom!
Sorry sweetheart! Yes, I guess we were being a little ridiculous. But we like our sleep! And my eyes refuse to shut when they know you're out driving in the dark somewhere!
But I can be reasonable. So we compromised. From here on out, I set the alarm for 1:00am and she has to be in to turn it off, or I get to wake up and worry. Woo hoo for Scheduled Worrying!
On Sunday afternoon, while Sarah packed up her clean clothes and waited for her ride back to school, I asked her what she thought about coming home. (Besides the fact that her parents were ninnies and wouldn't stop begging her to sit on their laps.)
Here's a few of her thoughts:
She LOVES her bed, even if it is a lumpy old hand-me-down and has a spring that sticks up in her back.
She misses old people. And children.
Doing laundry in the dorm is CRAZY EXPENSIVE. Plus, if you go to class with your clothes in one of the dorm dryers, you can come back and find your clean underwear all over the folding table, next to two boys with sheepish grins on their faces!
It is very quiet at 2:30 am in our house.
She likes bagels now. We should buy them.
Coming home can be so strange and bittersweet--and wonderful too. The only certain thing in life is change, right? Change happens and life moves on.
And sometimes home changes too. Here's one of my all time favorite pictures of my brother Steve and me.
We were home visiting from France at my parents' house, and Steve and I were catching up. I love that photo because Steve and I look so happy to be with each other, and because we're bathing our boys while we talk (actually we don't look like we're paying too much attention!) Although the photo doesn't show it, while we're chatting our boys are playing with the same bath toys that Steve and I used to play with! That's because my sentimental mommy saved all our bath toys! (Stop grossing out, you! The woman is a whiz with bleach!) How I love that purple plastic kitty and Steve's favorite chime ball.
Hey, that reminds me! Awake in Rochester tagged me to show a picture of one of my favorite childhood toys!
I couldn't find one of the retro sixties kitty, but here's the chime ball.
Flickr photo by jimmy j
It makes me happy to see it.
Steve, does it make you happy too?
And everyone else, if you'd like to play along, consider yourself tagged!
Have a wonder-full Thursday, y'all! And please, tell me your homecoming stories! Can a person truly go home again? Even without bagels?
And what about your favorite toys? Did your mommy save them? Or carry them off to Goodwill the minute you were out the door? Did she turn your bedroom into her home gym? Or keep it as a shrine to you?
It's a safe space. You can share.
PS. Here's one of my favorite homecoming stories (of sorts,) if you're looking for a good book!