Over the last few weeks, I can't begin to count the number of times I recited Dorothy's mantra "There's no place like home. There's no place like home."
You see, for the past six months, we lived in a temporary house. It was beautiful and we were blessed to be there and become friends with the owner. Still, it wasn't our house.
Mike bought the house we were living in years before we got married. When we tied the knot, I sold my place and moved into his. Once we had Will, it became clear the house was not family-friendly, in the least. So, we bided our time, saved our money and then, made major changes to the place.
We both wanted a house where family memories are made. A place where Will could bring his friends over ... and a place, they'd want to come. We thought about where we'd put the Christmas tree. Will planned his room, complete with Spiderman decals. In the end though, there was one thing that surprised me.
A few nights before we moved back home, I stood out in the street looking at our house and our driveway. One of the painters came out of the house and asked what I was doing. I told him I'd never had a real driveway and I was picturing Will and his buddies playing basketball there or scribbling with sidewalk chalk or perhaps the three of us playing a round of HORSE. I told him, to me, a driveway says "Welcome home, we're glad you're here."
The painter looked at me and said, " You've got a beautiful new house and you're excited about the driveway? Lady, you're a trip."
Well, our first full day back in the house, Will flew out the door first thing in the morning. He threw on his helmet, grabbed his scooter and went round and round and up and down that driveway. Just as I suspected!
Our dear neighbor, Nini, has watched him through the window and it makes her smile. Me too. Nothing beats being home. Nothing.
Julia is a reporter for WRAL-TV and the mother of a kindergartner. She writes monthly for Go Ask Mom.