I am a homebody. If you have invited me out to do anything ever, then you probably know this about me.
Home is my nest, a warm place where the tables are comfortably cluttered and the utensils nestled just so in the drawer; where the smells are familiar, the drama predictable and the bed imprinted by the shape of our bodies.
I may use the girls as an excuse to stay home, but don’t be fooled – I like it here, especially in the evenings, when the little ones are tucked in and the house falls quiet. That quiet includes them as sleepy beings, but it is quiet, and that’s the important part. Mitch and I can break or not break that silence at will.
For a mostly stay-at-home mama, this is an alright way to be, because if my world is contained within living room, bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen, I don’t really mind. I am happiest here.
But sometimes – usually mid-January – those rooms begin to feel close, the way a sailor’s quarters might feel after too many days at sea. There is laundry everywhere. The kitchen smells off in a way that no stew or fresh muffins will cover, and the air feels uncomfortably dry.
The children grow restless. Mama is increasingly prone to ominous sighs.
But then, one morning, the sun breaks through the clouds, and Mama packs everyone into coats and boots, strollers and Becos, hats, mittens, and scarves, and out the door they go, blinking sensitive eyes in the sunlight.
We walk to the coffee shop for hot chocolate and stop at the playground to play. Everybody sighs happily as our world expands for a while to include fresh air, other people, whipped cream and sprinkles.
Then we turn homeward, one daughter protesting hungrily, the other protesting sleepily, while I think fond thoughts of the couch, my book and a cup of hot tea. And so, home we go.