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Posted on: Friday, January 17, 2014

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                                                             photos taken by Janey Pakpahan

 

My days are relatively calm. Each Monday morning we fall back into our familiar routines and schedules.

An air of serenity fills me as I unload the groceries every Monday afternoon- pulling out the things I need to create the meal that will be the center of my family coming back together after a day fulfilling our separate roles.

I pride myself on the fact that I can give my family a quiet, safe refuge from the world. I want home to be the place they know will always be a constant.

I am not naïve to real life happenings. I get that things happen- bad, hard, painful things. But growing up in the midst of storms, I want nothing more than to ease my children’s minds and hearts. To be a place resting place of warmth for them.

It hasn’t always been this relaxing and comforting experience for me. I can remember my first family meals. I was 19. It was a turning point in my life that remains so clear in my mind.

The first few meals I spent around a family table where there was laughing and what I consider to be special to our family, a board game going, I was the most uncomfortable I had ever felt. My skin crawled each time someone tried to engage me in the simple act of fellowship. I wanted to crawl in a hole. It was so calm. I couldn’t take it. I wanted to throw something against the wall and run around screaming to shake things up.

You don’t realize how deep in you are until these life moments happen that painstakingly point out your differences from the world.

I thought they were the crazy ones. Who cares if I didn’t want to play board games? Or eat as a family? Why cant the TV drown out voices and forced eye contact?

My family felt the my uncomfortableness ooze from me each time we gathered around the table.

I remember the day I let go. My family remembers it, too.We were playing UNO. The game had ended and before I could catch myself, I blurted out “lets play again!”. A simple request from a kid caught up in a game. No big deal. For me, it was. A moment of vulnerability.  A shift. My walls were slowing coming down.

Today, these moments are the ones I cherish most. I can think of no better way to spend my time than laughing and engaging with my family around a table.

Do you have any moments like this?

 

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