There’s a dark green carpet in my new family room that is already my nemesis. I suppose any color carpet and four kids is a terrible combination, like beer and tequila and that one night at the dance club 15 years ago.

I have yet to crack the code of the thermostat, which thankfully was stuck on cold and not off (says she who decided to move on the hottest day of the year). Though it would be nice to know that when I put it on auto cool, that doesn’t mean on heat.

But hey, it’s still more predictable that my 2-year old.

The first couple of nights, it just didn’t feel like home, which is funny for me since my places of residence have never felt like home. My transient lifestyle took me all over the midwest, then the south, then the tour de inlaws, then back to the south again and I never thought of myself as someone who could be settled in a place so much that I’d really miss it.

I’ve never really been attached to stuff, mostly because I never actually had ownership of anything growing up, my dad the kind of person who would give in a good mood, then take away in a bad one, so I learned to never hold onto anything, tangible anyway.

But even though my home in Atlanta was poorly decorated, unless you count toddler drawings on the walls and play-doh speckles on the carpet, I suppose it became mine over the years. The place where two of my kids were born, one literally, filled with all sorts of memories that can’t be packed in a box.

Nonetheless, they’re brought with me here as I settle into the ‘burbs of Philly, now just a few miles from my people, a few more from my family.

Since I’ve arrived, I’ve felt as though I couldn’t breathe, the next in my odd series of psychosomatic symptoms I’ve been experiencing lately, leaving me to wonder if I was having some sort of allergic reaction to the house, the new surroundings.

My in-laws. (ha).

The first time I’ve seen my mom in over a year.

But then my friend arrived, and my kids returned from a weekend at the beach, and all our kids played and fought and ate and fought again. The emails, updates, and texts from old friends now close have been a warm welcome.

Suddenly I could breathe.

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