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Green reflects on the comforts of home

By Ava Green, Features Contributor

I woke up at about 10 a.m. on Saturday morning. Almost instantly, my sister called and asked me if I wanted to come home with her that day to be with my mom for her birthday. I was apprehensive at first — I had plans, things to do. I did not want to upset people by blowing off our plans, but what I wanted even less was to be away from my mom on her birthday. It was settled: I packed a bag with the essentials only (a Halloween costume and some snacks for the drive home).

I went home for October break, but this was only my second time home since moving in and it was very impromptu. I was nervous she would find out, excited to surprise her and just so happy to be home after a less-than-amazing week. Once we got off of the exit and entered my hometown, I found myself getting very emotional. It was a beautiful day. The sky was bright blue, the leaves had changed and everyone was out playing. Why didn’t I remember my town being this cute?

My mom and dad were so happy to see us. We gave my mom her gifts and ordered her favorite pizza as my parents went on about the trip to Utah that they just got back from. It was so amazing to see them beaming and gushing about how much fun they’d had. It was the sweetest thing; they showed us all of their pictures and told us all of their stories. I realized for what felt like the first time that my parents do indeed have lives outside of parenting. They seemed different— good different, happier different.

That night we went to a Halloween party that my aunt hosted. I got to see all of the people that I love at the same time. Over October break, I felt like I was wearing myself thin trying to see everyone I could. This time, I only went to my aunt’s house and my grandparents’ houses. Walking into these familiar places felt so warm and full of love. I got to see my grandmother before surgery and my youngest baby cousin. There is so much comfort in that familiarity. Being able to walk down the street and know where I am going. The chance to eat a home-cooked meal. All of these things that I took for granted that I never will again.

During orientation, I would say, “I’m from Herkimer, it’s a pretty small town you probably haven't heard of… you're not missing out on much.” Honestly, you are missing out. You're missing out on wonderful people, nice parks, loving families and the quaint (though borderline disgusting) main street. But, I digress. This trip home was what I needed. I think the fact that it was unplanned and shorter made it better. There was no time for my parents to prepare and make sure our time home was perfectly planned to the last second. It felt like I lived there again. When I got back to school, I had so much work to do, a ton of dirty laundry and a dorm room that looked like a tornado went through it. However, receiving a text from my mom saying, “I love you both — you're my reasons for wanting more birthdays” made every second worth it.

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