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.
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.