“Home,” my grandson announced as we parked in front of Alcazar only a few days after moving into the apartment.
A few weeks earlier, the prospective landlord pointed out the name carved in stone on the lintel as we stood on the street looking up at the building. Was the name a sign that this was the right apartment to rent as memories of our visit to the real Alcazar in 2002 rose in memory? Was it another sign when the young woman with a photo lanyard around her neck standing beside a car with a flat tire near the apartment explained she was from Kittanning.
“Me too,” I said. “Well, not really. I’m actually from Cowansville.”
“I’m from Adrian,” she said.
We laughed understanding why each of us had said Kittanning rather than the small villages where we actually lived.
My grandson has lived in five places since his birth in mid-2014. After acquiring language and learning the word ‘home’, he has quickly used it to describe the two places he lived this year. What does home mean to him? How does he adjust so easily to a change in location? I think it is the place where people who love him live and where he feels secure.
It is not as easy for me to use the word home to describe the place where I now try to sleep at night. I have lived between two houses much of the time since September 2014 and felt the conflict of not knowing where I should be. Jacob’s house was never called home. It was either being in Pittsburgh or Jacob’s house. After I moved back home in May I became a one-house woman again. I thought that would be my home for a while until another crisis arose. And so I became a two-house woman again. I live with two people I love and feel comfortable with them, yet also restless and even a little claustrophobic at times.