home

Despite running into his dad’s arms at the airport and enjoying a giggle packed few days of family togetherness during an unexpected last minute reunion in London, Flynn also happened to tell us repeatedly that he was ready to go home.

Hugs.

Home? What is this home of which you speak?

That giant house back in Benin that I never got around to totally unpacking doesn’t really feel like much of a home to me, and yet I suppose it’s the only home my toddler has ever really known. It’s where his toys, his dog, his friends, his nanny, and the vast majority of his memories are. So how exactly will I explain to him in six weeks that it’s not going to be his home anymore? His toys and dog will come along, but the friends, the nanny, and the room he knows as his own will stay behind. He’ll adjust to his new home in Virginia, I’m sure. Life will go on. He’ll be okay. But then, in a year, we’ll be packing up and moving homes again. And two years after that, home will change once more.

To be clear, I don’t think moving frequently damages a child. In fact, I believe the cultural awareness and adaptability gained as a result of frequent moves – particularly to new countries – is in fact a huge gift. If I ever come to think otherwise, well, we will not hesitate to leave this job behind. So while I don’t think moving frequently is bad, it does certainly make the question of home a complicated one.

As he grows up, what will Flynn think his home to be?

Will the concept of home even matter?

I don’t know the answer to these questions just yet, but for now we decided to explain to Flynn that he was indeed home, because home is wherever Mom and Dad are. He didn’t seem convinced, though. He seemed pretty sure that home was back where his dog and toys were waiting.

Oh, two year olds.

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2 Responses to home

  1. lynne says:

    I used to say home was wherever I was sleeping that night. With kids they seem to like something more tangible/concrete. Home is definitely an amorphous concept, we are trying to let them know “home” is Pennsylvania, our cabin, home leave location and location of 2 sets of grandparents. But we also refer to “home” when we talk about the place we’ve just lived the last 4 years. And today my daughter said she was ready to go “home”, the hotel where we’ve been for 3 days. Flexibility and adaptability! And, from what I hear, the 2 year old PCS will be the easiest, they have the shortest memories and greatest attachment to mom and dad vs. anyone else.

  2. Christina says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while and I just wanted to say, as a fellow diplobrat, I understand Flynn’s predicament. I’ve been moving around my whole life and at the age of 19, I still have no clear answer as to where I’m from. When people ask me, I usually answer with the standard, “D.C.” even though I have no real affinity to D.C. apart from my American accent and my partialness for Krispy Kreme. When people ask for the long answer, I normally start off with, “Well… I’m not really FROM anywhere,” and end with declaring myself a world citizen, something I’m very comfortable being. You’ll find that even when Flynn gets those moments of uncertainty – “Do I put myself as an international student on college apps? No, I know I’m American but it’s asking for my home address. DPO or domestic?” – things always work out in the end. He will find home wherever he wants to find it. My brother and sister are done moving around, so they’ve made the States their home. As for me, I’m not done being a world citizen just yet. 🙂

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