Saturday, September 14, 2013

Happy Birthday, Jake!

Warning!!!  Sappy alert! I swear I’ll write about cruising stuff again some day….

I do believe someone is happy to see his daddy.
As I was standing on the beach watching a Daughtry concert a few weeks ago (really great concert, by the way), he started singing his hit song “I’m going home.”  I wondered…what does that really mean?  While I admit, it wasn’t exactly an event where I would expect to dig deep into my thoughts, but the question is one I think about all the time.  Particularly while I’m here in VA, Andy and Jake are in OK (Andy arrived yesterday), and our boat is in Palau.

My first response used to be, “Well, home is Atlanta of course!”  because that’s where I grew up, where I went to school, and where my brother and his family still live.  Once I got married and had a kid, of course home was always with them, but I still felt a sense of going “home” whenever I would go to see my parents, even though they were in California.  Moms always make you feel like you’re home no matter where you are, right?  Once we moved onto the boat, going “home” meant back to the US.  But then when we got back here, a whole different question of home presents itself.  Last year, I realized another place I call “home” is VA.  This is where I met Andy, got married, bought our first house together, and had our son.  It’s where the majority of my friends are and where I still run into people in the grocery store that I haven’t seen in years.  I like to call it my “adult home.”

But now that Andy has landed in OK and he and Jake are back together, I feel really far from home.  Today is Jake’s birthday and that makes it even harder. 

I think it's been almost 10 years
since they've all been together.

Jake and Natalie...a cousin he's meeting for the first time.

Jake and Jet...Aunt Shannon's "baby"

Part of my little "family" here in Virginia.
I think anyone who travels or has moved around a lot probably goes through a point where they don’t quite know where home is.  And in the end, I think it always comes down to family.  It can be your immediate family, or it can be your extended family, or it can be the friends that feel like family.  But all in all, it’s where you feel loved.  Given that definition, I’m going to put my big girl pants on today and quit feeling sorry for myself (and guilty) for missing Jake’s birthday.  Because while I am far away from both my immediate family and my extended family, I am constantly surrounded by friends here that feel like family and make me feel very loved.  And I know without a doubt that Jake is feeling love today too, surrounded by ALL of his [McKaskle] aunts and uncles (even Uncle Matt made it for the celebration all the way from TN), almost all of his cousins, his grandmother, grandfather, great grandfather and most importantly of all, his Daddy.   He has grown up so much since we left California 3 ½ years ago.  He’s a confident, happy, smart little boy with an amazing imagination and a quirky little personality.  This summer he has grown even more (literally, about an inch, I think).  He’s grown more independent not only in what he does but in his thinking and decision making as well.  He’s made some very good decisions on his own regarding relationships, learning and even deciding what should be deleted on the iPad (“It was just the right thing to do, mommy” – insert mother’s shock here).  I couldn’t be a prouder mom.  It’s a day for celebration.  Happy Birthday, Sweetie! 


Sherry said...

Great post! I know exactly what you mean. And Happy Birthday to Jake. Hope you get "home" soon!

The Crew of Savannah said...

Thanks Sherry! I'm sure you do! It looks like we'll miss you for one more year....maybe we'll meet up next time. Enjoy your time at home!

Diane, Evan and Maia said...

Happy Birthday, Jake! And lovely post Monica. I felt this too--each time I got on a plane this summer/winter I told people I was headed 'home' even though I was heading different places...

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