For the 4th of July weekend, Dave and I are headed to very different destinations. We will be eating at the same table, sleeping in the same bed, and enjoying the same family activities. But while I am going to “my in-laws in Rhode Island”, Dave is going “home.”
We are not alone in this family dynamic. In fact, this topic was inspired by a Facebook post from another R.I. native and MoB reader Ilicia who remarked that she, too, was going “home” for the holiday to which her husband simply commented back “Home?” I’m not sure if he was offended or joking, but his point resonated with me.
Where is home?
If you ask Dave, “home” is Rhode Island – not Philadelphia despite the fact that he has lived in the City of Brotherly Love longer than anywhere else. I know this because when people ask him where he is from, he usually says Newport – not surprising given the appeal of the tony tourist town compared to our sleepy suburb.
The only home I refer to is the one I share with my husband and children. My parents live (separately) in the houses I grew up in. Yet, when I visit their homes which are just 15 minutes away, I say I’m going over to “Mom’s” or “Dad’s”. I do not say “I’m going home.”
It seems that there needs to be a certain amount of distance between your grown-up house and childhood house to call them both “home.” I’m thinking it needs to be at least an hour’s drive. And of course, you need to still have family living in the house to call it home. It would be creepy otherwise.
But the question remains, should you have more than one home? If home is where the heart is, then is calling your childhood house “home” cheating on your grown-up home? Personally, I think there is room in our lives for more than one. We all need familiar places where we feel safe and comfortable. In fact, the more the better.
At the end of the weekend, I will return home to our house outside Philly. And I’m pretty sure Dave will join me – in both perception and deed. Because at the end of the day, no matter how many you have or where they are located, there’s still really no place like home.