|“Home is the place where, when you have to go there,|
|They have to take you in.|
That's a line from Robert Frost's "Death of the Hired Man" that I thought of while looking at something I started to write about the places I have lived. Your dad and his brothers only ever lived in one house all the time they were growing up, an experience very different from my own. By the time I finished high school, I had lived in at least (I have to stop and count on my fingers now) eight houses, two of which I have no memories of because I was too young when we lived there. When the building where "home" is located changes every few years, the definition of home has to be linked to something else. "Home is where the heart is," probably sums it up as well as anything can. While I was growing up, home was where your great-grandmother was. I don't mean to exclude Dad, but he was my step-dad and didn't become part of my life until I was four years old. Since 1974, home is wherever your grandma is. I have to think that for your dad and his brothers, the house on 4th Street will always be home. It is the only place your Uncle Ryan has ever lived. Josh has lived there except for a few years when he was in his early twenties and your dad until he left for college.
I'm sitting here wondering which was better, my childhood of many houses or theirs of one. I suspect that most of the "experts" would opt for stability. They are probably right. On the other hand, I think moving every few years may have contributed to a flexibility and resilience that does not come from stability. More likely, it really doesn't matter that much. The number of houses, the kind of house, or its location are all a lot less important than what is going on inside them. Hopefully home is a place you want to go and a place where, when you get there, they want to take you in.