What Makes Home

"Where’s my family? Where are my friends? Where can I play?" It’s evac day six and we are finally settled somewhere we can stay indefinitely and make camp. We’re not feeling vacation-y. We’re feeling nest-y. Ax hasn’t liked the chocolate chip muffins he’s had for breakfast so far. I’ve gotten him a different brand each day, but none seems right.

I’ve had coffee every morning but I haven’t had a regular coffeemaker with my usual kind of coffee. It’s just not the same as at home.

We don’t want to go out for Belgian waffles or drink take-out soy lattes with fancy sprinkles on top. We’re homebodies, displaced from our home. I figured out, today, that we need to make home rather than pretend this is all a big adventure. That’s what would be nicest for all of us.

Today we’re going to get a decent muffin for the morning and buy a coffee maker so we can start our day the way we like to start our day, as close as possible to the way we start our day at home. We’re not home, but we can make it home-y.

“Ax,” I said, sitting with him in the living room at the apartment where we’re staying, “I’m curious. What makes a place a home for you?”

“My family, my friends, and being able to play,” he responded, easily.

“Do you want to FaceTime your friends?” I asked.

“No,” he said.

“Do you want to FaceTime daddy?” I asked.

“No,” he said.

“Do you want to go to a playground?” I asked.

“No,” he said.

I sat there, wondering what I could do to make the place where we were more cozy for him, more comfortable, safer feeling.

“Hey,” I said. “Do you want to make a Hanukkah card for Kiki?”

“Yes!” He said. I got out some paper and his magic markers to do some drawing. “Actually,” he said, “I think I will build her something for Hanukkah.”

“Great idea,” I said. And we sat together, me coloring, him building something abstract with Legos, listening to the classic rock station on my laptop. It wasn’t the same as home, but it was pretty nice, all the same. I’m gonna keep going.