Wherever I Go, Home Will Always Be Home

“JESS!!!” My heart melted a little when my 3-year-old niece answered my call on FaceTime. She was sitting at the kitchen counter eating a grilled cheese sandwich and telling me all about her day between bites, how her newest 'ouchie' was on her elbow and that she learned to draw circles and squares at school .

After dinner, she ran upstairs to change into her pajamas and get tucked into bed. All comfy under the covers and propped up on her pillow, she opened up 'The Rainbow Fish' and she recited her own version of the story. Twice! She started flipping the pages backward for the third round, When my sister told her it’s time to say good night. Like me, she had always hated goodbyes, so she frequently refuse to say it— because maybe, if we don’t, it won’t be true. So I tried to comfort her, and myself, with the promise of another call tomorrow .

I get the same warm and fuzzy feeling when I talk to my younger niece and she proudly shows me the block tower she built. I depended on my dad’s advice for all my grown - up questions, like car problems or insurance and 401(k)s. And I talked to my momma every day after work on my commute, to catch up on big things, little things and everything in between .

Everybody who knows me knows I love my family, so much so that missing them physically hurts sometimes. I moved away from home nine years ago to go to college, and as a self - proclaimed homebody, I always just assumed that when I graduated, I’d go back. But then I moved away again, this time for a job, and this time across state lines, telling myself that nothing’s permanent .

I started building a life and a career 900 miles from home, not meaning for the things I once considered temporary to grow roots. But maybe it’s OK if they do; I left because I wanted to see who and what I could become, and that’s something I’m still figuring out .

I feel lucky. Because the distance doesn’t feel so far when I get to do things like play and read bedtime stories with my favorite little humans. I don’t know what my next move would be, but I do know that wherever I go, home will always be home.

©Tilewa Adeyemi