Friday, July 08, 2016

Being in Costa Mesa and Thoughts on "Home"

I've Maeve-d my back.
Maeve who cries and whines and dissolves because she's 3 1/2 and we've kept her up, pushed her through full days surrounded by all sorts of people who love her, whom she remembers nothing about, has had some needs.

In usual life, I refuse to pick her up -- too big, too heavy, hands full.
But on vacation, especially standing in the spaces where my other stretched-tall people were babies, I have been hoisting and hauling, even throwing her toward the sky.
And my back doesn't like it.

After I sit here a bit longer -- out on the patio watching the sky orange at the horizon behind the silhouetted palm trees -- I will take some advil and lie on the hard floor.

Growing up, I remember my mom lying on the floor a lot.
Even as an adult, I'd walk into the house and find her in some room -- could be any room -- lying on the hard floor.
This could have been alarming but in our house it was just normal.  Hi mom, and we'd keep going.
I wonder if she'd been lifting people for a decade too ...

Our California trip continues to unfold.  At first the reality that we aren't moving here felt harsh, too bright, as we walked down our old streets.  But as we've been here, the glare has softened, and instead what I feel is a deep gratitude for this place, these people.  I am full, and it feels ok now that we're going to fly east and stay there back to, as Maeve keeps calling it, our house with my little red bed and your ban (van).

Home.  It's a funny thing -- so concrete and also elusive, a feeling more than place, sometimes.  Since I was a little girl I've loved home; I seem constantly both to pine for it and to make it.  I attach to where I am and, even in small ways, set up shop.  I like the facets of place: the stories house-walls hold, the fact that others have lived in the same rooms, the names of flora and fauna, the people who've always been here, the smells that become embroidered with that singular time.

Watching Silas, I think he has a bit of this home-thing, too, imbuing places with meaning and shaping himself out of them.  This trip he keeps surprising me: Mom, that’s the park where Eden threw up on the tire swing. Isn't that the Starbucks where we used to egg sandwiches on the way to Disneyland?  That’s where the car ran a red light and almost hit me when we were walking home from school.
He's remembering with me.

On the way home from the beach yesterday, I told him something and he said, Mom, I was raised here.  I know that. 

Raised here, his first six years.  I guess when you're 10, all the memories you have of being in preschool and kindergarten feel like childhood.  So many more stories to emerge.

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