Home. I fly the boys home tomorrow. There'll be playgrounds and Thai food. Lots of family. I'll be able to eavesdrop on conversations in the tube. I'll read the paper, and understand everything including which political party represents what and who the celebrities are*. I'll know what to expect when we pop round to someones house. They'll serve me tea with milk and not look like at me as if I've just stepped off a space ship.
Such an emotive word, home. It signifies so much; safety and security, comfort, acceptance. It is a place where you understand the culture and the culture understands you. It is where you have roots, where you don't have to think. It is like sliding on a well worn glove, it just fits perfectly, it is almost invisible.
Home is a difficult word for an expat. We avoided talking about England as home for a long time. We were living here, in Bosnia. It didn't make sense to refer to our Bosnian house as anything apart from home. But we are not 'at home' in Bosnia. We don't speak the language well enough, the culture isn't our culture, it isn't invisible around us, it doesn't live in our bones. We need to work at being at home in Bosnia. But whilst we were here that is what we did. We didn't want to constantly be looking back to another country. Bosnia and England are very different but we were living in Bosnia so we concentrated upon that. We loved it here. We made it our home as best we could.
Now we are going home though. Really going home. I can feel myself starting to relax already.
*that might not be true. I don't have a clue who any of the celebs are anymore. And what is this Glee thing that people keep talking about anyway?