The best gift I ever gave my children was a childhood in a single home; they've lived their entire lives in the same house.
We moved in twenty-five years ago today. My son was 8 months old, my daughter still just an amorphous idea of a second child.
I've always wondered what this does to a psyche.
My children retain their keys. When they come home, they're coming home--they let themselves in; they know where things are. It is understood that they "live" here, even though they don't live here. I can't wrap my head around the sense of belonging and stability that this must give a child. For me this is the house that I chose and bought; for them it's their country. I think this house must feel to them like "theirs" in ways that I cannot fathom.
Americans are used to moving--it's practically a national pasttime. Companies think nothing of uprooting a family and sending them across the country because it's better for the business. Kids get out of college and home in on any community but home.
child, I lived at 7 different addresses in four states as my father worked his way up the academic heirarchy. From the age of
17, when I started college, to the age of 30, when we moved here, I lived at 8 addresses in 3 cities, including an
entirely different country. I didn't even get to go "home;" between them
in that period my parents also lived at 6 different addresses in 2 cities, none of
them places that I had ever lived. When I visited them, it was to unfamiliar apartments furnished with unfamiliar objects.
After my son came back from his world travels, seeing dozens of American, European and Mideast cities on tour as a musician, he remarked that he'd never seen a place where he couldn't do anything that he could do at home.
Because he has one. This one.