We didn’t need to tap our ruby slippers to realize the value of being home. My daughters and I spent 3 months away from our typical daily routines to spend time with my husband’s family in Palestine. It was important for my husband and I to expose the girls to their Palestinian culture, create a connection with my husband’s family, and learn Arabic to be able to communicate with said family. While we had a wonderful time, formed new bonds and relationships, and discovered a love for the culture, we all missed home and couldn’t wait to return.
Coming home felt magical. The sense of security and comfort overcame us all as we settled into our familiar space again. It was amazing to watch Zaynab slowly remember bits and pieces of our home. It was her first time being away from home for so long. In baby time, 3 months is an eternity! She had an excitement for her belongings as if she was receiving them for the first time. Her books, stuffed animals, even her rocking chair, were all given attention and love from little Z. Each book or favorite blanket was like a new discovery. I could sense her being comforted and feeling more familiar with each day that passed.
Our family reunited again was also something that warmed our hearts and our home. Z loved that our cozy ritual of hot cocoa and mini marshmallows started up again. Cuddling all together on our sofa with a stack of books delighted Z. Regular visits to the library and park resumed and she remembered exactly how much she enjoyed those outings. Even family meals around our table eating foods we hadn’t had in months was exciting for her. Hello, buttermilk pancakes!
Yes, it’s good to be home and Z is loving every moment. She may not realize it now, but she has two homes now, one in California and one in Palestine. Where each place holds a special meaning and a unique, loving family experience.