That prams and art are not mutually exclusive.

Home

I placed you in the car capsule. You were like a beautiful mollusc, floppy and soft bodied, and the car capsule your shell. I felt like a thief unwrapping you from your snug habitat and buckling you in, your limbs awkward and unwilling.

We carried you from the stuffy hospital into the bitey Winter air and drove south to home. Daddy drove slowly, and I held on to the door, fearing that the slightest movement might break you. We inched over every speed bump and sidled around corners at a pedestrian pace. Though we had travelled that stretch of highway thousands of times before, instead of mindlessly following the familiar black snake of a road home, on this day we could see every pebble, every leaf, every letter on every sign. We drank that trip in tiny sips: the car was so quiet we could hear every breath, every squeak, every murmur from your tiny throne.

I couldn’t believe they let us take you home.

We made a tiny nest for you of flannel and cotton in our white weatherboard by the sea. You’re named after that cold, dry Winter. And as a nod to your reign over our domain, on our first family Christmas – in the middle of Summer – it snowed on our sandy lawn.

We never baptised you. You are a child of this garden, this house and this family. You’re a child of this town with its rutted dirt tracks and tea-tree lined lanes. Our family story weaves through the neighbourhood like couch grass runners, creeping under fences, and each day we become more and more entwined with this place called home.

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My favourite memory of home is linen. I love the smell and feel of crisp, fresh linen, and the feeling of being wrapped up. What is your favourite memory of home?

7 Responses to “Home”

  1. ClaireyH

    Tank water, from my childhood home. The taste, the dramas, the catching and collection,the timed showers, the way it weaves into every aspect of life.

    Reply
  2. Deer Baby

    What a beautiful piece of writing. I loved every word. I remember our own car journey home with our first little one, through a park of deer.

    Favourite memory of home? The smell of it. If I could bottle it, I’d wear it everyday.

    Reply
  3. yellow

    Lovely.

    Let me guess, your second child’s trip home was at the speed limit.

    Come number three, two others in the back, lots of coooing and shooshing and poking.

    Car speeds to get home to avoid any injuries!

    PS My favourite memory of home is my beautiful wife. Without her I am lost…..

    Reply
  4. Jac

    This piece is divine Karen and bought me back to that exact same trip! I think I held my breath the whole way home along that highway for fear of him crying and me not being able to hold him immediately.
    I agree with you completely about home being in the linen, but as we prepare to live in our third country in 2 years, I would say that its all in the way the linen smells too. The lengths I go to to find the same laundry detergent and fabric softener! Our new place becomes our home once the pictures and photos are all hung on the walls and the familiar fragranced linen is on the beds.

    Reply

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