We went to Sugarloaf Mountain for three days during school vacation last week and returned with changed children. The 4- and 6-year-old who had never skied independently began snowplowing down the bunny slope with confidence after a couple of half-day lessons. Cautious and quick-tempered, our kids don’t always take to athletic endeavors easily — both have been in swimming lessons since they were babies, for example, and neither will enter the water without his flotation armor — so our expectations of ski school were modest, to say the least. And yet there we were having a blast skiing with the boys, instead of hunching over behind them, and wondering what kind of spell their instructors had cast.
Upon returning home, I remarked, not for the first time, on the strange scent our house seems to acquire when we leave it for a while. To me, it smells faintly of fresh paint; Mark thinks it smells “like someone else’s house.” Either way, the odor, coupled with a separation, lends a novel air to a place that is so familiar I tend to take it for granted. On Sunday I noticed, with renewed gratitude, the soothing palette of blues and grays that pervades our home, and how pretty the dining room looks when sunlight filters in from the west. And after the shine wore off, and the boys had strewn costumes and stuffed animals all over the place, I took comfort in the fact that however much we may grow and change, our little cocoon remains largely, blissfully the same.
What does coming home mean to you? Share your thoughts with me here, or send a photo that captures the sentiment, at mainehomes.com/photos.