She cried out home. I need me some home. Oh, I need some home.
Do you remember when we were kids and home base was always a safe place? I guess it still is in baseball. But I remember playing tag and designating some person or place as “home.” Nobody could touch you or get to you in that space. It was comforting — a place of rest. You could let down your guard.
It is only natural to me that coming home means opening up. I have been guarded all day. I leave my safe space to chase my dreams, challenge myself, connect with people, and try new experiences. At 38 years of age, I am grateful that my home base energizes me to go out and be brave and bold in this sometimes cold world. But at the end of the day, come rain or shine, success or failure, acceptance or rejection, “I need me some home.”
When I question what I hope to provide for my children, the idea of home stays forefront in my mind. As a parent, I need to know that we are providing this designated safe space for our kids. I am not referring to a physical place but to a state of being — open. We have no shortage of dialogue about feelings in our house. Does this feel safe? How did their actions make you feel? Make sure you never make anyone else feel that way. I am so proud of myself for facing my fears…and so on. We love and live OUT LOUD all the time. We have feelings for breakfast. Total transparency. Zero filter. It is who we are.
When I ponder how openness and a perpetual floodgate of emotions makes me feel safe, I consider the alternative. Silence. I would rather hear scary, hard truths than hear nothing at all. Lack of dialogue scares the pants off of me! I have a very vivid imagination. In the absence of information, my mind can construct a terrifying narrative in a skinny minute.
I come home to be me—complete with all my insecurities, quirky fears, and disappointments. I can celebrate my victories and confess my shortcomings without judgement. Home is my soft place to land and what I hope to provide for my children. In an interview with Brené Brown, actress Viola Davis listed some simple rules she uses as guiding principles in her life. Her number four resonated with me.
“I will not be a mystery to my daughter. She will know me and I will share my stories with her—the stories of failure, shame, and accomplishment. She will know she’s not alone in the wilderness.”
THAT, my friends, is safe at home. Releasing the idea of perfection for authenticity is liberating. I can be true to myself and expose my vulnerability knowing that I am leading by example. My kids will bear witness to my humanity in all its glorious mess. “Oh, I can show them some home.”
My husband and I share our stories with our children. We don’t candy coat or hide our scars and battle wounds. We wear our hearts on our sleeves, and in so doing, we give them permission and affirmation to do the same. We walk with them through this wilderness.
Breathe easy, my little ones. Let down your guard and rest your bones. You are home.