Being home is a beautiful thing. The older I get, the more I appreciate the comforts of my own house and the routines that I've established for living out our daily existence. I eagerly anticipate vacation time for a change of pace, but coming home brings a joy all its own.
When I was younger, I used to dread returning home at the end of a trip. It seemed so boring by comparison. But now, as a mom, I love the returning as much as the going, and I've discovered how pleasant it is to enjoy both parts of the holiday. I see my kids soaking up our vacation time, but midway through, they ask about returning home to their toys and to sleep in their own beds, and I love that they are learning to enjoy the homecoming as well.
To some degree, we all carry a bit of home with us wherever we go, but when we want to be in our own houses, it means there is something warm and appealing about that space we have created. Women excel at this skill. It's the small little touches that make a living space more inviting and welcoming. Men appreciate coming home to a loving, pleasant environment, but generally speaking it falls to the woman to create that space and maintain it.
I believe that the woman is the emotional barometer for the home. If she is happy, everyone is happy. If she is miserable or feeling unappreciated, look out, because the temperature just went down by 10 degrees, and everyone can feel the chill. I'm not sure why this is the case, but I think its been that way since the beginning of time. By nature, women nest, while men go out to hunt and gather and provide food for the table. I realize while typing that sentence, that many women may be offended by it, because they also work hard and provide for their family. I'm not meaning to be offensive. There are many ways to make families work, and there are personality differences in both men and women so there will always be variances.
In my family, I am the nester and the homebody, and I have to remind myself that what I do for our family is just as important as what Jason does for us. I take a certain pride in my home, not in the things we own, but in the mood that is created by our family dynamic. We love to entertain, and want our friends and family members to feel loved, accepted and welcomed in our home. True hospitality is dying in our culture, and I don't want to see it fade away. I want it to grow and prosper, with friends feeding friends, making time in their busy lives to keep relationships growing, and to spread affection outside of our own four walls.
We are independent as a culture, but interdependency and community must remain priorities. Without them, we become unmoored and adrift, attached only to ourselves, and that breeds selfishness. When we are connected to our friends and family, we give regularly of ourselves, and as my Granny was fond of saying, "If you don't use it, you lose it." Sometimes it's uncomfortable to give when I'd rather hole up and be left alone, but I don't ever want to be out of the habit of being invested in the lives of others. Part of that is inviting people into my home, to eat a meal, drink a coffee, or stay overnight if they are from out of town. It's a philosophy of community, and I want to keep it alive at all costs, so my kids learn by our example and carry hospitality with them into their own adult homes.