Late April. Wednesday. Cloudy, windy, chilly, and drizzly. 2 jillion things on my to-do list–story of my life. And probably everyone else’s life, too. It’s safe to say that I’m struggling, so if you’re not up for slightly-depressed Toni today, go read Tooth Fairy FAQs one more time.
Maybe it’s the dreariness of this week talking, maybe it’s that after-holiday funk I always seem to fall into, maybe it’s just the stress of all the springtime activities, but whatever it is–I’m homesick.
It’s not that I don’t love Oklahoma, because I do, so much. In fact, since we moved here 6 years ago, we’ve never felt more at home. Our friends are as sweet and loving and supportive as any family. Still, whenever I hear somebody say, “Oh, just taking the kids to my mom’s tomorrow,” my heart just aches because I want to be able to do the same thing. I get this feeling in the pit of my stomach.
Cheyenne put it so perfectly today: “Oklahoma is a sweet potato. Now, I love sweet potatoes. If there was a sweet potato right here in front of me? I’d eat it and I’d enjoy every bite–delicious! But Florida is ice cream. And ice cream is the best. Anytime you have a choice, you pick the ice cream hands down everytime. And it’s really hard to love your sweet potato when you’re thinking about ice cream.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself. And I want to go home. Like, home home.
Like, Florida home. 20-minutes-away-from-the-beach home. I want to go to my sister’s house for a big giant family Easter get-together. I want to go to Christmas Eve dinner and Fourth of July barbecue.
I want to take pictures of my kids in a front yard next to a palm tree surrounded by azaleas, all dolled-up in their Sunday best. I want to go to church with my mom and Jenny and my grammy.
I want to watch Mia and Merrick play in the sprinkler in a backyard covered with mucho-uncomfortable St. Augustine grass. I want spanish moss and hibiscus flowers.
I actually want humidity.
I want to drag Merrick to the mall to meet my mom for lunch. I want to go to Peg Leg Pete’s to help celebrate her birthday.
I want to sit by my dad and complain about HOA drama, and I want to look him right in his bright blue eyes as he gives me fatherly advice. I want to lecture him about riding his bike down the highway for 4 hours in the heat of the day, even though I secretly want to join him.
I want to run a 5K with my sister Jenny. I want our kids to play at the park together while we gab about I-don’t-even-know-what. I want my sister Katie and her husband Marty to come over to my house, which wouldn’t be as far away as say, Oklahoma, for instance. I want Katie to show me how to cook as good as she does.
I want to be able to swing by my grammy’s house on any given day, and just give her hugs, and let my kids play on her floor while I yell at them not to break anything.
I want to hang out with my nephews before they’re old enough to shave, and so help me if someone tells me that they’re already shaving I’ll pretty much lose it right here right now. I want to go to their high school graduations without having to plan a mega-vacation two years ahead of time.
I want to go shopping with my sister-in-law Sam. I want to make it my mission to get her to like pedicures and I even want the kids to ride on the back of her motorcycle because that’s just cool.
I want my husband to be able to spend more time with his brother. I want to watch them standing side-by-side at the grill while Mia and Merrick and Sam run around the yard like lunatics. I want us to all go to the beach together.
I want to pop in to my father-in-law’s house and see what the heck he’s been up to. I want to make sure he’s not working himself to death and that he’s remembering to eat meals. And if he’s not, I want to bring over some of my crappy cooking that I know he’ll thank me for, even if he just throws it in the garbage after I leave.
I want to sell my art in quirky little boutiques and little boardwalk shops in Pensacola. I want to have an art store decorated floor-to-ceiling in beach-bright colors and I’d love to have casual art classes for little kids in some park downtown.
I want everyone to quit hounding me for pictures of the kids, because I want them to be able to see the kids, live and in person, way more than just once a year for a week at a time.
I want my kids to be Tate Aggies, even though I’ll settle for anything within a 1-2 hour radius. I want them to skip school and go to the beach, and I want to bust them by discovering their ferocious hidden sunburns.
I want my kids to know their family, and to know where their mom and dad and their aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents grew up. I want them to have a history in the same place that Caleb and I have a history. I want them to take pride in where we’re from, and I want them to be from there too. I want them to know the beach, to be able to close their eyes and vividly imagine the feeling of sand between their toes, and to love the smell of saltwater.
Still reading? Wow. Thanks for your patience while I wallowed today. Okay, so I miss Florida and the people there more than anything for sure. Who knows where we’ll wind up or what we’ll be doing? God brought us to Oklahoma. And God has a plan for our family. Don’t exactly know what that is–but I do know that right now, we are here. And here? Is a pretty nice place to be.