22 November 2012

the facebook

so lillie and grae finally jumped into the facebook. i, of course, am anti...as i seem to be with a few deep pools of disconnected connectivity. what can i tell you? i am a selective drowner.

the minute they created their accounts - grae talking lillie out of using thumbs-up symbols instead of the ells in her name and lillie convincing grae away from selecting a user name of kathy or carol or dave - i felt a pang. this is how it ends, i thought. how pedestrian.

turns out, the initial sign-up wasn't even the most heartbreaking moment. nope. the part that sliced me open head to heart was when lillie's chair dance stalled for a second and her chandelier smile flickered.

mom? with her forever lashes butterflying me from across the room. where's my hometown?

i wish i could explain how lost she looked in that moment. no...i wish i could forget how lost she looked in than moment.

you know. it's funny. we've given them texas and oman and the emirates and jordan and london and thailand and jakarta and even virginia a few times plus a million little stops here and there to catch our breath in hungry gasps. we've made them feel at home even in the emptiest places and given them like-a-baby sleeps on the scratchiest sheets, building gingerbread houses in a hundred and ten degrees and hanging disco balls to make it all a party. we thought we'd given them the world.

but somewhere along the way, we forgot all about giving them a hometown. 

i think people need those, don't you? if for no other reason than to leave it in a scene, slam the door, and announce you'd rather die than ever come back. only to return, too many years later, and feel your beginning all over again.

coming home, you know...it's a big part of our fairy tales and happily ever afters. and i can't help but feel like we've ripped those pages right out of their books.

(in case you're wondering. grae chose - without an inch of thought - chicago as her hometown, even though she has never lived there in her entire life. because...michael jordan. also? she went ahead and selected harvard as the place where she studied. so she doesn't need to be bothered updating later.)


Zakary said...

Your words, as always.


Anonymous said...

They can get a hometown whenever. You are giving them something that can't be taken away.

Ali said...

This made my heart hurt in every which way, including the good ones. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your beautiful family.

Meg said...

This post is everything. I love all of your posts, but this one..oh man. I feel your sadness, I feel your girls confusion. My husband and I are both grown up 3rd culture kids...living now in TX, struggling as always with what 'home' is. Especially now that we have a baby, where will we call home, where will he call home, where is home? (I'm from louisiana, husband is from new zealand, baby born in houston) As we celebrate our first Thanksgiving, just the three of us, our tiny little family, I'm realizing home is right here. This moment is home. I was always envious of my childhood friends who are still returning to their childhood houses this thanksgiving, 30 years later, exactly the same as they grew up, nothing changed. Although envious, I would still never trade in all of our many homes, so many Thanksgivings abroad, memories that are in my heart forever. I dispise that 'where are you from question'. hated it in college, hate it on Facebook. The world is one place, we are all from here. Home is right now, here.

Stacy said...

I too am a 3rd Culture Kid, and I completely understand. I'm glad you've given your girls the world. Someday, they'll thank you. I think each of my "hometowns", are my home, they've helped make me, me.

elodierose said...

Meg, your little family is like mine. I'm from Australia, my partner is from Ghana. When I moved away overseas I picked America and fell in love with New Orleans. He picked Singapore and fell in love with it. Right now we're in Sydney, Australia, but neither of us feels like we're at home. Maybe we need a neutral other place.
Or maybe hometown's don't matter. Not really. I don't feel the fairy tale when I go back to the town I grew up in.
I feel it in Piazza Navona, in Rome where I had my first kiss, on my old Uni campus, in the suburb where I had a really horrible apartment, and a really horrible job, but there were hundreds of hydrangea bushes between the train station and home, and very little makes me as happy as hydrangeas.
I think your girls will pick a place, one day when they're older and when you've shown them even more world. They'll look back on some magical place and it will fill them with warm fuzzies, probably for a reason you can't explain.

Heather said...

My family moved a lot when I was growing up, but just up and down the West coast. My hometown is Seattle. We moved there when I was 17. I fought that move, my senior year of high school, with everything I had. And now, I would give anything to go back there. To go home. Home is a slippery thing for some people, isn't it? Loved this post.

Kim said...

Grae is cracking me up! She won't break for lack of a 'pedestrian' definition of home town. :)

My niece has bounced all over the place as well and when she put down Decatur, Alabama as her hometown on Facebook, I thought, "Huh?" But yes, long forgotten was a pit stop in Alabama where she was born. Funny what kids grab onto.

Christine... said...

hometown, shmotown...

ok so a hometown's nice & all, but you gave them the world, but more importantly you gave them you & pat unconditionally. (ok, maybe a couple conditions)

because when i go home there's no pictures of my mom, dad. & brothers sitting around anywhere & the house I grew up in kinda feels like a sham.
because when your 'rents are divorced your hometown is sometimes just that- a town...

kelli said...

Oh, I can completely relate (I was raised transient/internationally too: houston, new orleans, boston, park city, north bay area, london and the hauge) At 32, I still don't know how to answer, but the fun part is having the license to choose nearly anywhere where you felt your place (or maybe even not). It becomes a sort of freeing feeling.

Chicago sounds like the perfect compromise. I like their heart.

Richie Designs said...

The Harvard Part is the best. Is it odd that I love your kids even though I've never met them?


sarah faith said...

goodness you gut me everytime.

but the hometown thing...you are the girlies three hometown because really wherever home is, you are <3

Chuzai Living said...

That's a hard question and my kids will have the same. Could be slightly worse as they have two different countries as their heritage. They get confused. My first one says she's from Japan (and my hubby corrects that she's from Texas as well) and my second says she's from the States without hesitation. I wonder what my third will say. Indonesia? :) I hope my kids access to FB is still far ahead of me. Ah, don't say anything!