There’s no place like home except where used to be home

You have heard it before, that old saying. “There’s no place like home” and it is true. At the end of a month long vacation, you can’t wait to step through YOUR own doors and unpack YOUR things and have YOUR space again. Do things YOUR way! I am putting my sponge here and not making my bed and that is fine because this is my house!
I am happy to be home. Of course I am happy because there are gifts abound about this sweet little town of San Juan del Sur, in Nicaragua. Made even sweeter for all the amazing friends we have come to love here and this unique moment in time for all of us. But what is wrong? There is a pull. Old life for new life? Old friends for new friends? How do you keep it all? How do you not let someone fall away? Even in one month you feel like life has gone on without you as you slowly try to merge back in. Remember me? I live here. You try to merge slowly back in because you want to retain some of what you just had, not rush it. You start to connect again but as you connect here you disconnect there, because it is too had to keep both worlds running. Both worlds in harmony. To be existing in both. Can you exist in both?
 It took some time in the States to reconnect with friends, we couldn’t see them all. I want to say, “Don’t feel hurt, there is only so much time”.  Everyone is so busy. Life is happening. People being born and people dying. It is all very surreal.
I always feel this small tug to stay. Every year it is the same and I wonder to myself will it ever change? The plane is taking off for Nicaragua and I feel it…the tug at my heart…that familiar question…it always comes. Is this right? Where should we live? It must drive my husband nuts. Every single time. Am I crazy? There is always a small pull to stay.
Today though I find comfort in this question. In this pull to stay. This small sadness to be back here because it means I am not there. The there that used to be home. I have traded my old home for this one. Even as I write this now, because I write this now. I wonder can I have both?
As we navigate the Pan American HellWay in Nicaragua, something stirs in me. I can feel good about this question. This doesn’t have to be sad. My uncertainty has become something that hasn’t changed in me in eight long and extremely blessed years, while so much else has. I find security about the consistency of this notion. That it hasn’t changed. We, (Will and I) certainly have. We have changed and multiplied. We came as two and we have grown to four with our two beautiful sons.
Things that pull me and make me want to stay Stateside in no particular order: Trader Joe’s, good wine, family, friends, Target, climate control, even roads, carpet (yes I know that’s weird) or even nice rugs, bath tubs, consistent water, legs without strange bites on them, radio stations, parks, sidewalks, movie theaters, consistent and affordable power, restaurants, book stores, yoga studios (yes I know I own one), Jamba Juice, museums (this one is cause I am supposed to say that) and well the list goes on.
Seriously, I could live in the States and strap Dante in a car seat on a regular basis and even put Max in a booster seat till he applies for his driving permit. I can do these things. I could be a soccer Mom. I would be playing soccer too though. I love soccer. And they have real grass in the U.S. for the soccer playing.  I know I have it all wrong but I still dream about it though. The rational side of my mind knows the truth…that all Moms regardless of location have their daily stresses of being a Mom. It still looks so glamorous to me as I observe it from the outside, watching the U.S. Mom, she seems to have it all together.
Things that make me come back to Nicaragua in no particular order: Our home, Max and Dante’s school, Zen Yoga, friends, Gato Negro, the beach, no TV, more creativity, no museums, no booster seat for Max, occasional no car seat for Dante, Pan de Vida, freedom, swimming pool, warm ocean and pool, spanish, simplicity, cheap massage, walking, neighbors talking, surfing for the boys, a feeling of stepping back in time, healthy lifestyle and food. Girl’s nights (almost forgot that one!)
My reality is that I am a Mom here in Nicaragua but not a Nicaraguan Mom, even though my boys are Nicaraguan (my husband and I are not) so they are also American but I am not an American Mom because I am in Nicaragua. You can see clearly how this is all very confusing right? I’d blame it on that time of the month but that has passed so I am not sure what’s up? We are in re-assimilation day #1, so tomorrow should be smoother. Unless something else breaks around here and if it does so help me I will book the next flight back to where I can grab a Jamba Juice and a pack of Goldfish crackers because the kids are hungry and you should never leave home without a snack.
As we dodge dogs, people, buses, horse carts, and the random chicken all very comically as if we are in a bad Nintendo game, my ever patient husband gently reminds me (very gently because I am a bit fragile being re-assimilation day #1 remember?) that we were on vacation while in the States and that if we lived and worked there it would be different. I know he is right…of course he is right. Acclimating back into SJDS is impossible to describe. So much going on and so much broken but it is all right because Speedy Seashell (Max’s pet turtle that I found one day by almost running him over) is home when we arrive. He had disappeared the day we left, nearly a month ago!  The caretaker of our home while we were gone had not seen the turtle the entire time. Max walked right to where Speedy had lived and found him. Both Will and I were nearly moved to tears as we both concluded that the turtle had left or died. Max was beaming ear to ear. Max told us that he had closed his eyes and wished with all his might that he would find him. Max said it is good to be home. I agree. Home here and home there. I can have both. Apparently, so can the turtle, wherever the hell he had been. 


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