Being away from home, makes me appreciate the little things that make my space feel like home. On this particular evening, it’s the sight and sound of my Biscuit-boy, snuggled up in my bed, spooning his black cat Mooch (now 14). Mooch’s snoring reminds me of the tiny squeaks that Biscuit made as a baby.
The bond between these two began when Biscuit was still in the oven… Mooch would stretch out across my warm belly. Having been raised with dogs, Mooch was imprinted with canine behavior by the time I adopted him at the age of 4 months. When Biscuit was born, the 3-year-old Mooch would come running towards the sounds of the crying baby. Mooch would meow and look up at me as if to say, “My baby is crying!”.
Having an only-child has challenges and benefits. Biscuit has always been good at entertaining himself. Instead of an imaginary friend, he had Mooch. Images of Mooch began showing up in Biscuit’s early art work and story writing. The two are best friends and Biscuit doesn’t know a life without Mooch. He even dressed as Mooch for Halloween last year, for perhaps the 4th time.
I am constantly inspired by Biscuit’s resiliance and his ability to adapt in the face of change. He seems to find home easily. For Biscuit, Mooch is home… a warm cuddly home in black fuzzy pajamas.
Biscuit turned 11 a couple of weeks ago, which reminded me of how quickly childhood goes by. It’s been amazing witnessing Biscuit’s memories being created. I don’t think any child realizes how truly precious childhood experiences are at the time they are having them. It’s only later in life, when we look back fondly… that we value our memories.
When my parents’ health declined and I simultaneously lost my income, I reluctantly moved into the house I grew up in. For the past 6 months, I have been slowly taking ownership of my childhood home … cleaning, sorting, purging, painting, patching, repairing and making it my own.
In all honesty, I haven’t felt like I had a home since my family and home in Pacific Grove was disassembled two years ago. I was lucky enough to live with friends in what Biscuit called, the Resort, but living in somebody else’s space is not the same as having your own. That feeling was amplified when Biscuit chose to live with his dad and his new family.
Luckily, dealing with major challenges has distracted me from mourning the loss of my home. I feel like I’ve been living out of an overnight bag for the past 24 months, hauling my favorite blanket and pillow around with me for comfort.
I finally finished reading my friend Becky’s book of her childhood memories, which wraps up beautifully with a visit to her childhood home. The final metaphor about growing up, really resonated with me. I’ve been traveling a lot lately and each time I return… I see how much work I’ve actually done, not just on the house but on my life. Wait a minute… does that mean I am actually a grown-up?
Now when I pack my favorite things in a bag, it’s by choice. My travels refresh me, give me a profound perspective… and now every time I come home, it feels a little more like home.
You Remind Me of Home, by Ben Gibbard.