I’ll Be Home

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You move a lot. Nine places in nine months is your record. You like change, and new environments, and because you have no money you can never get quite the type of place you want. You go through roommates. You move in and out with boyfriends.

Every year you spend Christmas with your mother and brother, because that’s how it’s always been. The first year that you’re away breaks everyone’s hearts, but next time is a little easier. You spend one year with your father and stepmother, a year at home, a year with your in-laws. Scotland, Vancouver, Kelowna, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Kelowna, Kelowna.

You’re never where you actually live.

Except this year, because you have a reason.

At 5:00 am you nurse your little baby. You think about what she’ll wear on Christmas, about taking photos in front of the tree. How she’ll stare at the lights, mesmerized, while her dad sings Rudolph. About presents and After Eights and dinner. You hold her and look at her milk-drunk sleeping Buddha face and once again you can’t believe how crazily, stupidly, ridiculously you love her.

You think, “This, this, this. This is home.”

(And then she farts.)