Monday, January 6, 2014

Parenthood: Week 32 - Bringing Ollie Home

After I graduated from high school I left my home in Bellevue, a suburb of Seattle, and went to Northwestern University in Evanston, just north of Chicago.  For the past thirteen years, I've brought things home to share with my family.  There were stories, books, pictures, videos, Diana, Buffy and now Ollie.

My parents have been amazing grandparents and have done a great job overcoming the distance between Bellevue and Evanston to be a part of Ollie's life.  They came out right after Ollie was born and again in July.  My mom also came out by herself in September and early November to visit.

Diana and I decided that for Thanksgiving we would bring Ollie home to my parents house for the first time.  As I discussed in this previous post, there were a lot of concerns about taking Ollie on a plane.  

It's difficult for Ollie to be comfortable in a new place so we all tried our best to help him be feel settled.  My parents setup a crib in my dad's office, Diana and I carefully packed bringing things to make him feel comfortable like his sleep sack and we made sure not to schedule too many things during his trip so that Ollie could get his naps in and not feel too overwhelmed by the experience.

Whenever my parents have visited us to help with Ollie, it's been amazing.  It's like there's another two people are added to the partnership that me and Diana have developed to take care of Ollie. Being at my parents house with Ollie is like that but even better because it feels like we are surrounded by that support all of the time.

I will forever be grateful for the effort and care that my parents have put forth to take care of Ollie. my mom cooked a bunch of baby food that was frozen and ready for him to eat.   My dad adjusted his work so that he could be available to help with Ollie and they were always ready to do whatever we ask of them to help with Ollie.

The house my parents currently live in is not the house I grew up in.  My senior year of high school my parents moved into a new house.  At the time, I wasn't very happy about this.  Because of this move I had to commute to high school and I felt uprooted right before I knew that the transition to college was ahead of me.  My dad told me that a building does not make a home, the people do.

It's not that simple though.

Presence of a family contributes to making a house feel like a home, but it's the effort that the family in the house makes to take care of each other that makes it truly a home.  Bringing Ollie home, watching the energy and love that my parents direct towards Ollie has made this house feel like a home in a profound way.  Ollie is beginning to sense this as well.  The more time Ollie spends in this home, the more he feels safe to explore the house, the faster he goes to bed and the more he smiles.

My parents' house is not my childhood home but it has become something even more special.  This house is not filled with memories fragmented by time gone by, but rather by times that are not so far in the past.  We are looking forward to bringing Ollie back to this home.  With the care we all share with each other in this house, moments in the future will continue to make this house a home.  

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