Home is where . . . ?

My thoughts are jumbled, scattered and disconnected — the inevitable result of being awake for almost 36 hours, a 6 hour time change and a 9 hour flight with 2 kids (and a partridge in a pear tree — I don’t even know if all that math is right, but it’s something like that).

The boys slept on the plane.  They didn’t sleep a lot, or particularly soundly (there were probably a dozen little kids on our flight, and at least one of them was crying at almost every moment) but in exchange for their sleep, we didn’t.  I am really tired.

But, I’m glad to be home.  I think.  I’m not really sure, at this moment, where home is.  Because I’m glad to be home, but simultaneously missing being home.  And it isn’t just a semantic problem — my brain actually counts each place as “home” right now.  I feel like I have two homes at the moment, and it isn’t at all an unpleasant feeling.  It isn’t at all a feeling of not belonging in either place, or of “otherness” in both places (which I was a little worried about) but rather a feeling of comfortableness and being welcomed home in two entirely different places.  It’s a strange feeling.  I’m leaving home, I’m coming home.

In the row in front of us on the plane was a young mom travelling with her two little kids (a boy and a girl, maybe about 5 and 8).  We talked a bit on the flight, and in the various lines we had to wait in.  They helped us recover thrown toy cars on the flight and kindly ignored Benjamin pushing on the back of the seat in front of him (although, the way her son slept — across 3 seats and completely unaware of what was gong on — I’m not sure he was so much ignoring it as truly not noticing it).  They, too, have two homes.  They were travelling from South Carolina, where they live now, to Jordan, where they’re originally from (which meant they had 3 hours of travel before our flight and 5 more hours after we left them — yikes).  It’s the same for them — leaving home and coming home at the same time — and she also talked about how pleasant but strange the feeling is.

What a wonderful sensation to be able to experience.  We feel so loved at home in the US, with our family and our friends, and all the familiarity.  But we also feel loved here in Austria, and it has come to be home to us.  We have arrived here at home, in Austria, and we’ve left so many loved ones back home in the US.  We are so lucky, and we will see them all again soon.

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