April 1, 2008

Home Again Home Again Jiggity Jig

My Mom used to always say that to me and my brother as we'd come home from someplace when we were little. Some time ago I started saying it to my boys every time we'd pull into our garage, and it stuck. It's our thing.

I was all of eighteen years old the first time I moved out of my house, headed for the big city and an apartment of my own. I held three jobs and went to school. Many mornings I'd get an iced cappuccino from the diner by the el and many nights I'd have a pb&j sandwich with day old bread from the bakery around the corner. The same posters hung on my walls, same thrift shop clothes hung in my closet. But it never was home.

By the next year my dad was parked behind that apartment, with the sticky balcony rails to ward off pigeons. We loaded up my belongings and that little girl bundled inside my big-girl-self. I was going home, headed down Lake Shore Drive, back to Indiana. On our way- with as much love as sternness in his eyes- he said Next time I move your things, it's for good.

And the next time was. A few years later I was coming home from my honeymoon to a brand new house, shingles and carpet color chosen by me. Years later this house had those same shingles but new carpet. And along with the additional "artwork" courtesy of Crayola, the walls now tell stories of babies and heartache and joy and first days of school.

To three little boys and another child on the way, this is home. Someday a truck with their things might head off to the unknown, pieces of my heart along with it, and they will always be welcome to come back, for at least one more try.

We've filled it to the brim, some would say, about our little dwelling. I say, what a great use of space. It may be small, but it's plenty. And it's home.


Submitted as entry into Scribbit's April Write Away Contest: Going Home.


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41 comments:

  1. Such a great post, loved it! My parents used to sing that same song to us as we arrived home. What a nice trip down memory lane, and a sweet tribute to your four walls. It feels good to be content with "enough".

    I love this challenge, I'll have to come up with something!

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  2. This is so beautiful, Steph. Home is truly where the heart is! I am sure your four (or more!?) little ones will always feel close to their home because of how special you have made it.

    Jane, Pinks & Blues

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  3. how beautiful! made me get teary-eyed! i agree with "to think is to create"- being content is wonderful.

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  4. We say that to our boys too, except we say, "Daddy's a Jig." I had so much fun in my first apartment. Sometimes I dream that I have to move back in there and try to fit all my kids in it!!

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  5. I wish I would have had that "first apartment" feeling. I moved from home at 20 right into marriage.

    NO "big girl" growing up experience. I wish I would have had that time.

    Great post!

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  6. You really hit home with this one...more than you know!

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  7. So true...and that's the way I want my kids to feel too - always welcome to come back home. And why is it that this post brought tears to my eyes? Hmmm...I think I"ll blame it on my pregnancy horomones! haha. :) Thanks for sharing!

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  8. Wow, what a great post! Definitly brought a tear to my eye!

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  9. Sweet post! I know I am a very settled type of a gal too. Enjoy home!

    Lori

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  10. my grandmother used to sing that.

    it's a WONDERFUL use of space, you're right!!!!

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  11. My mom always said that too! And now I say it to my kids. :-)

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  12. Wonderful post! Home is more than just abuilding with 4 walls. It's where we hold our memories.

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  13. That was really beautiful! I have lived in my condo for almost three years now and it just doesn't feel like home. I really gaven't sone a lot of the thngs that would make it a home because my heart is not into living there. I never planned on staying long-but with the housing market the way it is we seem to be stuck there.

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  14. This was such a touching post, dear daughter. I can remember moving you there and my heart just aching, knowing we were leaving this tiny little girl in that big ole' city. I prayed so many prayers for protection over your life. I can remember the sticky banister walking up the straight 4 flights of stairs with your bed and 50 boxes of shoes (just kidding). I also remembering as a mom, hating to leave you with an almost empty freezer and frig. But I see now that we needed to give you the wings to fly and we knew you would be back if you needed to come back. You are the women you are today because of so many things you went thru and accomplished....I am so proud of you! I do believe in letting your kids come back home, but I am so glad you met your soul mate for life and now you have your own home to say "Home again home again jiggity jig" and you are carrying on the tradition...Now, I need a box of tissues....Love, MOM

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  15. It's funny, I would never consider our home my dream house but I don't know that I could ever move after all the memories and fun we've had here. Great post!

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  16. beautiful post, we used to say that growing up, too! I still find myself saying it.

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  17. You have such a way with words! That's what keeps me coming back to check in...
    I love how you just pull us all into your life like we're living it there with you!

    p.s. your mom's comment made me reach for the tissues too - Mommies love their babies FOREVER & EVER.

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  18. That's really sweet, Steph. I'm not sure I'm ready to imagine the U-Haul pulling up to our house yet. It kind of reminds me of that Shawn Colvin song, "These Four Walls." Very nice.

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  19. You are so lovely, I can't stand it.

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  20. This is such a beautiful post!
    I moved... 15 times before I got married, and my parents got SO SICK of helping me move. This house isn't quite home yet, and I don't know what the magical thing is that's missing.

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  21. Beautiful! What memories! And just think some day there will 4 more families passing this along!

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  22. Beautifully written and I love that title. What a fun phrase.

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  23. AWESOME post, Steph. One of my new favorites of yours! I hope you win. : )
    Hugs,
    Happi

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  24. That was so sweet! We had a little itty bitty house in IN, and then traded it for a new one in NC twice the size. We were busting at the seams. Now, 2 years later, we are busting at the seams once again. Funny how that happens. I heard a country song once that said that love grew best in smaller houses, b/c there were fewer walls to separate you. Blessings to you and your growing family!

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  25. My mom always used to say it too! And my husband looks at me like I'm a lunatic whenever I say it.
    But I say it anyway.
    I'm going to send him your post!

    That'll show him!

    Thanks!

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  26. Steph,
    This is a great post. I totally agree, home is home. You can't take it with you. It really is something that has so many memories attached to it.

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  27. I've learned through all of the house we've lived in that home truly is where the heart is. When we first got married and were down and out scraping just to get by, we were content because we had a home. When I look at the pictures of "then" I can see the love, laughter, and joy we had in our eyes. Family is what matters most.

    Beautiful post!

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  28. Oh you've made me cry! I wish I would have had the experience you did. We moved too many times to call any one place home. However, the place I live with hubbs and family now IS our home. And it feels like it. Beautiful post!

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  29. You write so beautifully! I hope you win the contest, this post is pure poetry!

    I love your attitude too! All kiddos deserve a get out of jail free card when it comes to moving on, sometimes it's just whole lot harder than you think it will be! :-)

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  30. Thanks for making this pregnant mama tear-up at 7am in the morning! Beautiful post. I used to always say to my husband when we lived in small apartments in NYC. These 4 walls don't make it a home... it's us inside. We make it full of life and love and happiness. Beautiful. Thanks Steph!
    xo,
    Audrey

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  31. It breaks my heart to think of my kids leaving but I know it will happen before I know it. Sitting here nursing my baby, it feels like a LONG tim from now, though.

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  32. This really reminded me of Chicago - I miss it sometimes still.

    Very nice post. I can just see you driving back with your father that first time . . .

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  33. What a sweet piece, Steph. My mom used to use that same "jiggity jig" expression too. :-)

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  34. Very touching...my parents had to rescue me once (no, twice actually) as well...Happy 35h anniversary to my Mom and Dad!

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  35. What a sweet post, Steph. You're such a good writer. You put so much feeling and emotion in your posts and I love it. I had a similar experience. Really brought back memories. xo.

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  36. My husband introduced me to this phrase and I always say it when we pull into the garage too! How funny.

    Very sweet post.

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  37. My mom loved to say that, too, every time we pulled into our driveway. It was almost as much a part of home as home itself. :)

    Great post.

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