Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Home Away From Home

I used to get yelled at when I would call my hotel "home" when I was traveling, and I never really understood why. To me, "home" was where I was staying that night. "Home" was where I was when I wasn't at work. "Home" was where my stuff was and where I could catch a few hours of sleep. But now that I'm not a single traveling consultant anymore, my outlook on "home" has definitely changed.

Last week, Mommy and I went to Dallas for Jay and Ashley's wedding. When they first got engaged, our original plan was to bring Kaylani with us. But as things developed, that plan changed. For one, the wedding was at 7pm, which is right around her bedtime. Then, add in the small hotel room, the fact that there was a pool that Kaylani would have constantly wanted to be in, and of course the plane rides, and you get enough to make us sway on that decision. Throw in the part where we haven't had a weeked alone in 2 years, and then you understand why. But what was the real deciding factor was having Yin Yin and Yea Yea move 20 minutes away from us.

3 months ago, when Yin Yin and Yea Yea first decided to move down to central NJ, we were ecstatic because it meant we would have family nearby. We would have someone that we knew we could count on no matter what (in addition to our friends). We would be able to spend more time with them than just the hectic, packed visits to Boston 2 to 3 times/year (plus visits to NJ). But most importantly, Kaylani would get to spend more time with them on a regular basis, and have another place she could call "home."

Sure Mommy and I have loved having them here so we can sneak away for dinner, or for the night, or just have them help out during the day so we can take a break every now and then (or not cook dinner), but Kaylani is the one who really loves it. Its rare that a day goes by without her saying "I'm going Yin Yin Yea Yea house!" or "I play with Yin Yin Yea Yea" or "I see Emma" (which is the name of a doll we leave at their house). And if you didn't want to believe just what she says (which is a good idea since she makes stuff up a lot), you'd believe it just by seeing how happy she is when she's with them.

When we left her there Wednesday night (we flew out early Thursday morning), she said "Bye mama! Bye Papa! Mama Papa go to Dallas! Kaylani stay at Yin Yin Yea Yea home. Yes." There was no crying. No screaming. No protest. Maybe a little crying from Mommy since it was only the second time she was leaving her for more than 48 hours (and the first time was just to NYC), but for the most part, all was okay. And for the next 3 days, we talked to her on the phone to say hi and again to say good night (as best we could with "hi mama, hi papa" being mixed in with "its raining," "I play with Emma" and "I jumping").

And if the updates that she went to sleep fine, and that she said "mama papa in Dallas" after she asked for us, and that she got to see Sesame Street Live with her cousins, and her general happy tone of voice wasn't enough, we knew Kaylani was at her home away from home when we picked her up and got ready to leave on Sunday. We asked her if she was ready to go home, and she said "I want to stay at Yin Yin Yea Yea home!" Sure she finally came around and came with us, but from now on, she might as well just call both places "home," because in my book, "home" is now where you're surrounded by people you love and people who love you. And that's definitely both our home, and Yin Yin and Yea Yea's home.

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