It’s a wonderful thing to be home for the holidays. In fact, it’s more of a wonderful to have never had to leave your home for the holidays, unlike the thousands of travelers this holiday season. It’s marvelous when you live far from your family to have them travel to see you, even though you feel awful about the travel hassles they are going through.
My parents missed their original flight out of Philly due to the extreme security measures, and, because it’s the Philadelphia International Airport, which, IMHO, does everything ass-backwards. Unlike in San Francisco or San Jose, where a kind security official tries to get those with a departing flight through security quickly, there are no such accommodations in Philly. That kind of stuff would likely start a riot in the city of Brotherly Love. And of course, because they missed their connecting flight, they were without luggage when they got here. It’s a nasty inconvenience to spend half of Christmas day in the same clothes you spent the day before in traveling. And I have a thing about airplanes and airports; the germs….ew.
On the way back, today, my in-laws’s plane was unable to land in Philadelphia due to gusty winds after the snowstorm. They’ve been traveling since 11pm last night, and ended up in Baltimore at 12 noon east coast time when their Philly-bound plane was diverted to Baltimore. They sat at the airport there for two more hours before the airline finally put them on a chartered bus to Philly.
My parents fly back today, and I’m not optimistic about them actually getting home. Most flights into Philly on their airline are “delayed” up to 5 hours, while all flights into Philly yesterday were canceled. And if planes can’t land now, will they be able to land a little later?
But this has been our tradition since our little foursome moved to California. The grandparents visit at Christmas, in spite of the travel woes they almost inevitably face. And we are oh so grateful. Not only because we don’t have to travel, but because this is our home. Many of our friends who are here for grad school don’t feel that way, but I do. Not because I am incredibly connected to Stanford or Palo Alto, but because I’m in my home with my husband and my children; in a space where everything is mine – I can touch it and manipulate it; it’s my dirt and nobody else’s; I don’t have to feel weird about using the toilet!
Home is less of a physical place or specific geography but a space in my mind where I am most comfortable to be me, where no one can put me out, turn me out, turn their drama into my drama. I can be the hostess with the mostess, but I can take a nap in my own bed too. My children can be comfortable doing their thing in their space, and I don’t have to worry about them breaking something. I can discipline them in my way, without feeling restrained or constrained. The memories in this space are ones of happiness, joy, love, romance. Even depression and mental illness, but fully supported-through and loved-through mental illness. I am my parent’s child during the holidays, a youngster to the elders that are my in-laws. I am a daughter without feeling like a child.
I can truly be at home, at peace, at rest for the holidays. It feels great.