It is truly amazing to me how a place you have called home always sort of feels like home. We moved from Boston when Zosia was nine months old and have only been able to go back a couple of times. And yet, as we pull into those familiar narrow streets, it feels just like we're pulling back up after a long weekend away. It is familiar, beloved, and so comfortable.
Of course, now we come as guides, and not just individuals. We have two little curious souls who are full of questions and wonder, seeing everything for the first time. It's strange to try to explain to them about a time and place when they were just a glimmer in our eyes. Don't you remember this? I want to ask them. The familiar chatter over sizzling pans, the leisurely walks, the little pups at our feet.
And strangely, even amid the familiarity of everything, there is a newness to it, too. Because these streets knew a young newly married couple, full of joy but also insecurity. Countless delights and disappointments happened in this place, since this place. How do we walk these streets now? We are wiser, changed. Different. I know I walk differently than I did then, see things differently.
It only takes moments for these children of ours to pick up on the fact that this is a place that they belong. And us, too. At first, there are shy smiles and hideaways behind big legs, but hugs and tickles quickly sneak in. These are friends. Family. After all, these are voices that they were surrounded with when they were still growing in my womb. This place is a part of their story just as it is a part of our story.
As old friendships are renewed, new ones are formed. It is a magical thing, to have a place like this. A place you can just arrive at and feel so entirely at home. A place that is just waiting for you.