“Home wasn’t a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.” – Sarah Dessen “What Happened to Goodbye”
I decided early Tuesday morning to take an impromptu trip home. I packed my bags, let my roommate’s dog outside to do his business (and #tobehonest check the bushes for sketchy men), and hit the road at 4 a.m. The likes of Bryan Adams, Train, Disney, Hunter Hayes, and Salt N’ Pepa kept me company. When tunes did not do the job, I alternated with Cecelia Ahern’s “If you Could See Me Now” book on cd*.
Eight and a half hours later found me sneaking into my parents’ home in an effort to surprise my mother. She obliged with the much-anticipated joyful shriek and tears. We hugged, chatted, and seamlessly fell back into our usual routine. This naturally included me breaking out a book: “Size 12 is Not Fat” by Meg Cabot #RL2015.
I started reading the book several years ago, but could not work up the necessary interest to see it through to the end. My tastes have since broadened (hello, John Green), so it was different this time around. (Either way, I was determined to #justdoit.) Tuesday night found me curled up on the guest bed under the lamp. My bleary eyes sluggishly moved from one word to the next until someone knocked on my door.
After some noise of welcome left my mouth, my mother’s head popped in with its own set of half-closed eyes. She quickly spotted the book in my hands.
“Oh no,” she groaned. “You are going to go to sleep so late.”
My tired face stretched into a dumbfounded expression. I looked down at the book and then back at my mom. I mean…does she know me but at all?
“There is less than a hundred pages here, mom,” I replied. I had actually just completed the math on how long it would take me to finish the book. It was 10:10 p.m. I figured I could have the book finished well before midnight.
A sigh escaped her lips. I pictured her working through the urge to order her 20-something-year-old daughter to sleep. She walked the few feet to the bed, leaned down, and kissed my cheek before bidding me goodnight.
This scene has played out countless times since I discovered a love for reading. The books, homes, states, countries, and our ages have changed, but the same old song and dance remains. The interaction feels like home for this #ArmyBrat. I will tell you what: I don’t mind driving 8 and a half hours to play this particular tune on repeat.
***(Side note: Ahern wrote “P.S. I Love You.” It took some time, but I eventually forgave Ahern for making me turn into a human water fountain during the movie. It turns out the book is quite different from the movie. I am holding out high hopes for “Love, Rosie.”)
PS. Shout out to fellow WordPress blogger Phoebe for reminding me how important it is to occasionally cut loose from day-to-day life. Check out her “Little Grey Box” blog!