With the hustle and bustle of the move coming up, one thing that has repeatedly become clear is that the definition of what "home" is becomes more, well, fluid. I spent 42 years in New England, most of it on the same street. I think by this point, "home" means "my street in my town in Massachusetts" - except that it doesn't.
Home is wherever the people you love are - and sometimes that's in more than one location.
Mom G. has been having a hard time dealing with the idea that her baby boy is moving away (truth be told, Dad G. is as well, although the tough guy retired cop won't admit it). It's understandable; for the past 14+ years I've been next door, so if they need to see us they can just stop in on their way home. It has been very convenient. If they want to see how the kids are doing, they look out their back window and see them playing in the yard.
When I say "home" to my mom, it has a different meaning now. It will be even more stark once we move into the new house (wherever that may be; more on the house hunting saga later once I calm down a bit...). For me, "home" means where the wife and kids are - but it also means where my family and lifelong friends are, too. The cliche about never going home again is true - because "home" is always changing.
I think in the grand scheme the move is a good thing for the kids especially. My dad has lived on the same street his entire life. I was headed that way until the new job opened things up. The kids will get to have a new experience in a different place - Mrs. G. brought this up when we discussed the move. They've grown up in New England, so their formative years have been spent learning the history of the New England area: Plimoth Plantation, Sturbridge Village, Boston, etc. Now they'll get a chance to learn a new history, that of Roanoke, Jamestown, and Bull Run.
For them, "home" will mean something different than it does to me, and that's not a bad thing.
I understand my mom's anguish. For her, "home" has meant the quarter-mile or so section of street where she and her husband of nearly 50 years have lived, complete with their older child next door. It's convenient when the people you love are very close by. It's hard to deal with the idea that, after more than four decades, one of those people will now be 500 miles away. I *hate* being this far from my kids even though I know it's only temporary; I can only imagine how much it must hurt to think that it could be permanent some day.
Fortunately, this is a different age than it was when I was my son's age. Communication is instantaneous and no longer limited to an expensive long distance phone call. Skype, FaceTime, gChat; there are myriad ways to stay in touch that don't cost a penny and yet put you in close contact. It's not the same as being together, of course, but it's far more instant gratification than a phone call. We'll still be up in the area a few times a year for the holidays and summer vacations, and chances are pretty good we'll talk more after we move than before.
And I'm sure "home" will undergo a radical change in a few years when TheBoy and BabyGirl G. head off to college, too...
That is all.