One of the hardest moves of my life was when I was in tenth grade. We packed up and headed six hours south and it felt like my life was over. It wasn’t, of course, but I still see people going nuts for their high school alma maters and wonder what that would be like. Hard to really feel invested in a place you only spent
a couple of years.
When I left that January in 1997 my two closest friends gathered around me. One of them handed me a gift, her favorite sweater, a pillow she had made with the word “friend” embroidered on it and a little bear she had also made. I wore that sweater like armor that first winter in my big new school, pretended it was her hugging me, and the pillow and bear still go with me to every new home.
This time when we were unpacking my youngest son saw the bear and, after I told him that his “aunt” Megan had made it, he asked if it could go in his room. So, it’s been living on his dresser these last few months and I smile every time I see it. A couple weeks ago I found it on my nightstand with a note. “I wanted you to have this because it’s very special to me.” he said. A couple days after there was a little paper hat on it’s head. The next day the entire nightstand was flooded with paper hats.
I’ve been getting a lot of notes and pictures lately. They’re stashed all over the place and it warms my heart and makes me smile. Those little notes, and hats, and presents they’re like warm hugs and favorite sweaters. They’re the home we carry with us wherever we go, the one in our hearts.