When we found out that Robespierre’s job may move our family “down south’’, we were anxious, excited, and curious. As much as we enjoy adventure, we loved our home in Wisconsin and leaving wasn’t easy.

Wisconsin is where we were born and spent most of our lives, it holds memories that are sewn to the roots of our family trees, and it’s where people and places were forever etched into our personalities.

I’m sure many people have similar feeling about the location where they grew up and share a deep affection and unquestionable positive attitude about the place they call home.

So, while anticipated, it was still shocking when “Ya’ll want another push?” came naturally from Mae’s mouth as we glided on our porch swing. When “it” met our ears, our feet planted in the ground, we quickly glanced with wide eyes at one another, and in unison said, “What’s that?”

“Ya’ll want another push?” This time she giggled. I think she picked up on the fact that she was speaking different from we do and more closely to the way of her friends. We looked away, smiled, and said, “Yes.”

I peeked at Robespierre and mouthed, “It happened.” She nodded and said, “I know.”

It’s the quintessential southern colloquialism that we were waiting to hear from our daughters, “ya’ll”. A realization that they’re growing up, calling home, and planting roots in a different part of the country than we did. That single ‘word smash’ brought to the forefront that, while we may not be, they are from ‘around here’.

The prospect of Haze and Mae not knowing the Wisconsin that we do makes us sad. We want them to know the place that we call home. Then we recognize that our Wisconsin is their Alabama and it’s our job to fill this space, whatever its name, with positive memories and experiences. We’ll explore, create traditions, and share our lives in this home. And, no matter where home is, if our kids want to come back to it, then we’ve done a good job raising them.

*Post title taken from a Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros song “Home“. We had it on repeat before we moved.