I went home last week to celebrate my brother's engagement. Though 10 years younger than me, he's definitely the most mature Pugh boy; it's probably best he marries first. He's already written a novel. On a typewriter.
There's a funny thing about being home isn’t there?
For me, the first noticeable change is my relapse into a 15-year-old. This means shooting my brothers in the face with NERF guns and turning the lights out when they're in the bathroom.
At home, there’s also a routine you fall back into - one your parents taught you that’s a remnant of what their parents taught them. As my family sits in the living room to talk each night, I wonder when good conversation became a Pugh value. As we pray before we eat, I wonder how many cumulative years our ancestors have bowed their heads.
But there's something else about being home that matters. It's not the people, it's not the structure of the house, it's not the Mexican restaurant you always went to. It's more about you. If you pay attention, when you go home you can hear echoes of the person you once were. We spend a great deal of our lives trying to get away from our past, but there's a hell of a lot to be found when we remember who we are at our core.
Going home means finding an anchor in your identity. Home means remembering formative experiences and relationships and recognizing their influence. Home means giving yourself the chance to realize you've grown. You made it somewhere.
You also remember you were once dependent on this small tribe of people. And you think briefly that, maybe one day, you’ll build a tribe of your own and send little persons into the world to participate in our collective history.
That’s a powerful thing. That’s more than just stopping in to say hello to your parents. That’s more than a holiday break. That’s perhaps the only reason we’re here: to belong and to help others feel like they belong.
This summer, I hope you find space for quality time with your family – whoever family is for you.