The other day Jane and I were playing on the playground for a special “girl time” while Wilson napped and Mark worked. Back home we would have girl time once a week and go do something special. I’m trying to do the same on our trip. This particular day was supposed to be rainy so we had packed up her three board games, a craft which was making the paper bowls we use for dinner into hats, and some cups to have a tea party. We were going to set up in the laundry room of the park out of the rain and spend some girl time together. The rain ended up holding off so we decided that a bike ride and the playground would be better and that’s what we did.
While she was on the swing she looked at me and said “I miss Raleigh.” I told her that some days I did too and we talked about what we missed. She said she missed “her friends, her school, her cousins, her Jojo”. I told her that I missed many of the same people. It was a quick conversation but one that held some real emotion for both of us.
Later the rain started coming down and she slipped and fell and started to cry. We got on the bike to pedal back to the RV. She kept whimpering “I want to go home. Let’s go home.” As we were biking back to the RV I started to feel really badly. It would be so nice to go back to our big house and our friends and all the good parts of our old life. Especially when it’s a yucky rainy day. She was sad. She missed our house. She missed our neighbors. She missed our family. I started to get a little sad too.
As we rode up the last hill to our camp site she exclaimed “Finally, we’re home!”
It was then that I realized we had two separate conversations that afternoon. Yes, she missed Raleigh but she has started thinking of Raleigh as Raleigh and the RV as her home. My mood changed quickly. We’re still providing our children with a comfortable place that they now think of as home. Home is where we are. Home is where we park it.