Sometimes a Visit Home is the Only Vacation Needed
Recently I was lucky enough to visit my home state of Massachusetts. I normally tell anyone who asks that I am from North Carolina just from being here the longest, but I was really born in Beverley, Mass.
In 2001 I moved to the south. I was eight at the time and was excited for the change. I wasn’t sad to leave Massachusetts because I knew I would be back. Almost all of my mom’s family resides in MA. We spent a few weeks of our summers and almost every Christmas there till I was 17.
Unfortunately in 2010 we lost my grandmother. She was the glue that held us together and kept us coming back. Since then our visits back have been far and few between. It was hard for awhile to be back where her presence was so strong. To see her eclectic themed wall paper and smell the familiar smells of cut grass or her old basement next to the pool. She was the foundation of so many things. Now that I am older I see these things but the sadness I once felt has turned to warmth. I find comfort in her remembrance but will always miss her so much.
Much Needed Visit
During a random Facebook scrolling I received an invite from my cousins for their son’s 6th birthday party combined with a going away party before they take on a big move. So I called up my mom and asked her when we were leaving. I was partially joking but in all realness we wanted to go. So we planned a girls trip and it was on of the best things I could do for my mental wellbeing.
Our trip was short, just Thursday to Monday. But it was all we needed. This was my second trip bringing Ray on a plane and it was a little more complicated than the first. Now that Ray is super mobile it is hard to keep her happy in a seat for an extended period of time. We bounced and ate and brought several toys along and really it went pretty well. A couple happy screeches and a few fussy fits but really who can hear anything other than the person next to them on an airplane anyways?
My aunt picked us up and we are lucky enough to have cousins with babies so we didn’t have to travel with the stroller or carseat (yay for packing light). Highly recommend if possible. We stayed in her guest rooms for the weekend in her beautiful ranch-styled house that overlooked trees that rolled on for miles. Each moment spent was filled with so much nostalgia from growing up it made me realize a few things.
Why A Trip home is good for the soul
Going back to the roots brings with it a total rush of emotions. Now that I am grown and a mom I don’t always have time to “feel” anything. I am more focused on what is happening now, with the baby, with the house and whatever else is going on in that moment. But as a kid you have so much time to just be. This is the time you form who you are and what you believe in. You discover what you like, learn about traditions and create relationships with people and the world around you.
When you go back home you are reminded of all these things. Time slows back down for a moment. You see all that has changed and then you realize the beauty of the change. The life that is passed on through generations. The houses and landmarks that you grew up knowing look different but still feel the same. My aunts and uncles are grandparents now with shamrocks marking thier driveways. My cousins (and myself) are the parents. Our children are playing outside in the yard with each other, creating their own games and going on adventures.
Sometimes we need these reminders. I know I do. Trips like these will help me be a better parent. It reminded me of what family and stability can do for a child. I am and have been unimaginably blessed in this lifetime. To be able to share this with Ray means more to me than I ever thought it would. The world will always be changing, stores with close houses will sell but family will be there and that is what home is.