Monday, February 24, 2014

The North of Our Compass

Dear Ellie,

Your mother and I have spent a month and a half in the hospital now but we'll be here a lot longer.  For the first two weeks, when your mother was on bedrest,  we felt like foreigners.  Being in the hospital drained our vitality.  Wore down our souls.  We did everything we could to try to make the hospital feel like home.  We put up life sized printouts of our cats on the furniture and brought food and movies and books from the house.  However, all of those things just generated the illusion of home.  To your mother and I, home is the North on our compass.  The place that always tries to draw you back.  The longer we are away from it, the stronger that tow becomes.  By the end of your mother's bedrest, we were both weathered and tired from resisting it.

But things changed very quickly once you were born.  The gravity of home was reversed, and whenever I left the hospital for more than a few hours, I felt drawn back to it.  Being away from you is like swimming against a current.

We rarely visit our house anymore.  When I drive up to it, I feel as though I need to knock on the door.  As though I need to ask permission to enter from the family that lives there.  Once inside, it seems foreign.  There are a few glimmers of memories.  Sunny weekend mornings and evenings over the stove.  But when I leave, I don't miss it like I did before.

When I'm back at the NICU, I know where we belong.  Home has become wherever it is that YOU are.  You are the North of our compass.  

1 comment: