Going Home

Home.  I still call my the home of my youth “home”.  Am I the only one that does that?   Either way. . . that’s where we went this weekend.  Once again we awoke our little ones early Saturday morning and loaded their PJ’d bodies into the car to take the two hour drive to my hometown.  The sky took my breath away as we began our trip. . .

This wasn’t just any visit home, though, this was an important trip. It was a trip to watch The Football
Game. . . the battle of the Ohio teams. . . Cleveland vs. Cincinnati. 

Now, this might seem like no big deal to most people, but for me it creates a dilemma.  I grew up in a home of Bengal fans.  Did you grow up in a home with certain things that just are?  Things that don’t need to be talked about because they are inherently known. . . part of the fabric of the home.  Some of those in our home included certain family traditions, taking our shoes off before going inside, saying please and thank you, not talking back, and, well, rooting for the Bengals.  It just is.  No questions asked.  Sunday afternoons in the fall were for rooting for the Bengals. . .

I still remember my Dad’s “Bengals pants”.  Yeah, that picture of a tiger print pant in your head. . .those are the pants.  My Dad wore those on Sunday afternoons.  He also chanted Who-Dey! often.  As a family we held secret prayer sessions asking God to help the Bengals win because my Dad’s mood seemed directly related to how well or not well the Bengals did on a particular Sunday.  (Okay, maybe that’s stretching it a bit. . . about the prayer sessions, that is).  We all still laugh about the day my Dad threw a piece of bologna at the wall when the Bengals made a bad play.  The bologna stuck to the wall and added to the decor.  My usual mild mannered Dad became quite the source of entertainment on Sunday afternoons.

Then, in one of my first acts of rebellion I met and fell in love with a Browns fan. 

When I met Chad I knew that my parents had to get to know him before we let the news out.  It worked!  By the time they learned of his loyalty to his Cleveland team. . . we all loved him and knew there was no turning back.  Now, we use the Bengals/Browns game as a reason to get together.  It can be tense though, because obviously someone will leave disappointed.  I do my best to keep my mouth shut and stay neutral.  Between you and me?  I secretly root for the Bengals. . . old habits die hard. 

On our way “home” we made a stop to for haircuts via my incredibly talented sister-in-law.  She is truly a treasure and is as beautiful on the inside as she is outside. 

We arrived home and spent the afternoon and evening with my Dad.  One of the best things about going home is that it is a peaceful atmosphere.  We do a whole lot of nothing and we just “be” together.  It is marvelously refreshing. 

 As day turns into night and napless kids get cranky they are put to bed and thus begins my favorite time at home.  A time that is so simple but more precious to me than any piece of jewelry could ever be.  Time with my Dad. 
After kids are put to bed we gather around a table and talk. Chad, my Dad, and I.  We talk about everything.  Seriously, everything.  From deep and profound to simple and flighty.  There are some moments when we are silent and others when we are laughing.  There is no rhyme or reason, there is no force of doing, being, or saying something.  The time just is what it is. . . each time we visit.  There is nothing that compares to the ease with which this happens.  We talk until all of us are yawning, signaling the time to retire for the night.  When I lay my head down on my pillow after these chat sessions, my heart is  full and my spirit flies with thankfulness for such an incredible family. 

I would be lying if I said that this visit did not spark, in me, bitter-sweet feelings.  My mom’s absence is so pronounced and this weekend the reality set in a little more.  We are going through a lot of “firsts” and this was one of many.  The lump in my throat remains as I continue to expect her to walk into the room at any time. . . like if I wait a little longer, she will come.  Such thoughts seem crazy, but they are so real to me.  It is in these times that I focus even more on that which I do have. . .

Poppy saying Good Night to Chanelle
Poppy saying Good Night to Charlie
I am truly grateful for a Dad who loves much, gives endlessly, and cares without reservation.  I’m thankful that he loves my children as much as he loves me.  And I am so grateful that he loves my husband. . . 
Even when the Browns beat the Bengals. . . like they did on Sunday.

  • Trophy Life - October 5, 2010 - 11:54 am

    oh, man, this text belongs in a little memory book (as does the last one about your sister) and you could write another about the brother and then put pictures and make it all a book and pass it along so they could all hold onto your words forever.

    you have a gift, my friend. a way with words. and for that i love you even more! i'm glad you had a good weekend and i'm so pleased that you get to have these moments.ReplyCancel

  • Running Chatter - October 6, 2010 - 1:10 am

    Thank you, TL, for your kind words. They make my heart swell and encourage me more than you can know.

    Thank you, also, for a great Christmas gift idea! 😉ReplyCancel

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