Home is where the heart is…or at least where it used to be

They say that home is where your heart is. I had clung to this thought with both hands since moving from my home town almost five years ago, but after a recent trip back to Adelaide, I’m starting to think the home we left has gone forever. Not because we are no longer there but we because we have grown up, moved on……and become parents.

Initially our move to Queensland was an exciting adventure. We didn’t know how long it would last and I don’t even think we thought about what would happen in the future. We were two young twenty something’s with nothing to hold us back. In the first years after moving we would laugh at how much we had been missing whilst living in little old Adelaide…for anyone who hasn’t been there it is like any bustling capital city- minus the bustling city. I Was horrified on a recent visit to realize they the shops didn’t open until 11am on a Sunday! WHAT!

In the early days we would eat out most nights…it didn’t matter where or at what time…we didn’t have hungry kids to feed by six and we didn’t have to consider if they had a kids room. We could stay up late knowing we had all day to sleep in. We only ever really had to get up to eat if we’d had a big night out.

In Queensland We had the sun, the sea and life was exciting.Life was easy. Five years later, we are married with two children and with every responsibility that comes along with that. We now look at our surroundings differently. With limited family support, this once outgoing couple stays home most nights.When invited out we secretly prefer to spend our night off by going to bed early and getting as much sleep as possible.   It breaks my heart when my son’s birthday’s come around and there’s no ‘real’ friends to invite, because our old friends are still in Adelaide…and we all know your cousins are your first ‘best mates’. The highlight for most weeks is venturing 10 minutes from home to grab a coffee at the local shops …knowing we have a limited window before the kids turn into wild animals.

Life gets lonely our own. My greatest friend here is my husband….the best kind of friend. I still get so excited half an hour before he is due home from work. But if he is my best friend here…who can I complain to when he’s being a shit! Of course he will always only take his side. My favourite past time has become my children. Today we played with the plastic animals….and for your information….tigers don’t eat dinosaurs because they are too big!

Trips back to Adelaide are less frequent now…especially now paying for the children. Whilst there on the weekend I was sad at the thought of what we had left. So many beautiful memories came flooding back. Memories of life before responsibility…Visiting friends every night of the week, going out for dinner again and of course our family. That feeling you get when you are with family. Safe, relaxed an not ashamed to wear your dirty track pants!

I loved seeing my son’s with their Nanna. I loved seeing them play with their cousins. I loved seeing my mates…the old ones. The ones you can sit next to in silence and not feel like you have to say something to avoid the embarrassment. I flashed forward to what life could be like if we moved back home again and when times are lonely, I hate that we are here and not there and that I have created a situation where my children will never live around the corner from their family. I feel like we have cheated them in some way and also robbed my mum of those special times.

For a week we were home again…where our hearts had been. I then started to realize that this wasn’t home for my boys….they had only ever known Queensland. We wouldn’t be returning  to our wild nights out…we were parents now. At dinner it became apparent that even our own group of friends hadn’t seen each other for weeks, because life had gotten in the way. While looking out for familiar faces in the mall..I was looking out for the the young people we used to be, not the older, more wrinkly couples pushing prams, who we had now become. Our family unit had also changed significanlty…My brother, my ‘other’ best friend had moved on and my mum was forced to rent out our family home, meaning the place we came back to for all those years was now not there either.

Life back there would soon become what it had become here……………………or would it?

I still don’t know what the future holds for us, or if we will ever move again. But I do know that home is still in your own heart and in your own lounge room…even if I do look swear every time I step on another one of my Son’s cars!. The home I remembered had been long gone, I just hadn’t been there to see it change. We have grown older and wiser and regardless of where we live….our lives have changed.

It was sad to return to Queensland and leave it all behind…but it wasn’t the place that we would miss, it would be the memory of who we all used to be.


6 thoughts on “Home is where the heart is…or at least where it used to be

  1. Your post struck a memorable chord with me…..I too have experienced the same….only my move was to another country with a husband and two small children that had only known London as their home….it was the hardest decision of our life to pack our whole life into four suitcases and try to make a better life in Australia for our children….to be honest I could still be there as I think I could live anywhere….but my husband wanted better for us all at the time and I thank god everyday that he swayed my mind, as when I look at the wonderful people my children are today, I know it was the right decision. They are both married now to wonderful partners, living what i hope is their dream and I have been blessed with two more beautiful gifts of my grandchildren. Life moved on for us all in various ways and found us all in different states and countries too, but home is definitely in your heart it doesn’t matter where the house is. I often think of the family and friends we left behind, but as you have done, I look back with the romantic view and the good times and not the real everyday struggle street view that brought us here in the first place. My children have achieved and continue to achieve their goals in life and I hope that their life experiences have helped them along their way. I’m sure Nanna misses the children everyday but no doubt she relishes every moment she gets to spend with them when they visit or she visits them and also the opportunity to visit the Gold Coast ! but I’m sure she is also confident in the fact that you are also making a better life for your children and will be proud of that . My children both know I love them with all of my heart and will always there for them, even if its just a phone or Skype call.

    You should also be proud of your excellent posts in this blog…they are very heartfelt and you are gifted with a literary mind.

  2. Your story was very informative as I have not ever moved far from where I grew up and has made me think what it could have been like if I had moved away.

    It seems you have a great little family and are living life as an adventure and that is a great way to be. It is always good to look forward and wonder what the day will bring as in this way it always brings new adventures. Looking backwards and wondering what could have been unfortunately means you try and remember the way it was and that is a distorted view. As you noted, you were younger, no kids and it was a different time but also your mind will remember the good parts and miss the sad parts and that is a natural thing as it protects us from these bad memories.

    As your life as a family moves on it will be filled with new adventures and where you will end up living in the future will depend on some distant choices. What I mean is live for the time you have as a family and enjoy it, the kids grow up way too quick so where you end up later is in the wind and no doubt it will be the right place for you all to be at the time it occurs.

  3. Home is where the heart is. Your children will never miss what they have never had. We as parents carry fond memories from our own childhood, like being surrounded by aunties uncles and cousins. We remember with love, those family gatherings we once all shared, they are moments in time that can never be erased. They are our memories.

    Your children will too have those memories. They will be excited when Nanna’s, Grandads, Aunties and Uncles come to visit. They will be excited going on a jet plane to spend quality time with family interstate. They will form strong bonds, never to be broken and they will feel special because it is not an everyday occurrence. Those moments will always be remembered with excitement, joy and love.

    So although your children will never experience your childhood, they will have wonderful memories, huge ones at that, that can never to be erased, just like yours. 🙂

  4. Or at least the way it used to be. Arrh the excitement of going back to the place we once called home. It is always exciting catching up with family and friends and being able to show off our precious babies to anyone that shows the slightest interest.

    Oh and how about when you make some fable excuse to go the shopping centre, to pick up those items that could have easily bought down the corner shop. You walk through the entrance and instantly it becomes so clear, who are you kidding, you have just come here to walk down memory lane, your tunnel vision is no longer , you are franticly scanning the crowds for any familiar faces from yester year, you spot one and it becomes very apparent they are using the DODGE method (which in all truth we are all so guilty of at one time or another). At last you find someone that remembers you, they stop and you chat about life and where it has taken you, you say your goodbyes and walk away with a sense of fulfillment, knowing that your mission is complete. You have nothing to show for you trip, but you have successfully found someone from memory lane.

    How quickly we forget all the negatives of why we were happy to leave the place to begin with. We forget how cold it is in the winter months. We forget that the place we grew up in is full of crime. We forget that now our families have moved on. Even though they are still in the same state they no longer live around the corner each other, in fact they now live in different parts of the state.

    The way it used to be is all but a distant memory.

    We have returned home, the holiday glasses have been removed, we can now see the positives, once again of the place we now call home.

    Personally I feel , that when the negatives start to out weigh the positives, it is time to move on. When the time is right something from within will let you know that it is time to find another place called home. Until that time comes, enjoy the place you now call home because the way it used to be, is no longer. Regret the things we have done not things we haven’t.

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