Home. When asked this year what we’re doing for Christmas, I tell people I’m going “home”. In fact, I’m referring to my parents’ place on the Sunshine Coast. I haven’t lived there for more than a decade and it’s not even the house I grew up in. My family moved to the house my mom and dad live in now when I was almost done high school. My “room” still has the purple paint I chose (inspired by Monica’s apartment on Friends, I’ll have you know), but it’s more of an office these days and doesn’t feel like it ever belonged to me. The furniture in the house has changed. So has some of the art, and little things like the serving platters and appliances in the kitchen. There are photos on the fridge and I don’t know all the people in them. This is all a normal part of growing up. When I think about it, it both does and doesn’t sound strange that I refer to it as “home”. I think if we are lucky enough to have great, functional, and loving families – and I count myself to be a part of this club – it seems logical that we would always think of our family’s house as our home. On the other hand, though, I actually have my own great home. I live in a (relatively spacious) condo that I love with my fantastic husband. We’ve lived here for almost three years and have made it a real home – a family photo wall, pictures on the wall, candles and pillows and custom furniture. We plan to start a family here. Certainly, this is our home. It is my space and it’s where I relax. My bed is what I look forward to when I’m tired, or after I’ve been on a long flight, and when I have a cold. Yet, during the holidays and without realizing it, there is a shift in my mind and for about five days this home of mine is just a glass tower in the sky in a city that is familiar and comfortable but not “home”. For during those days, home is actually two ferry rides and four-and-a-half hours away.
We head home tomorrow.
Photo: Little Karine, circa December 1984