Homesickness is a strange thing. I remember having it several times. I can barely remember being very young and spending the night at Grandma and Grandpa’s. Suddenly, for no discernible reason, I wanted my mommy and daddy right then. They couldn’t come get me fast enough. I wasn’t homesick for the place I called home, but for my parents, and that’s how it usually went.

I remember getting ready for school some days. I’m talking middle school now. It was so hard to leave. There wasn’t anything wrong; there was just the occasional day that I had the overwhelming desire to stay home with Mom. It’s not like I never saw her; she was a stay-at-home mom for my childhood and when she took a job in my pre-teens she worked at night so she could still be home when I was. To make light of it, I would say I wanted to stay home and bake cookies with her. She’d laugh, give me a kiss and a hug, and I would steel myself and leave to catch the bus.

I even remember one night when my next-door neighbor was sleeping over. We were playing and having a good time when suddenly her mom’s car pulled into their driveway. My friend tried to fight it for a few minutes; she clearly felt so bad about wanting to go home, but nothing could cure the homesickness once it welled. She begged my forgiveness and ran home.

Now that I’m a mother, the homesickness has changed. I still get homesick for Mom, but there’s little I can do about it while we live hundreds of miles apart. But sometimes I find it hard to fall asleep because I feel like I should have both Steve and Kara with me. Sometimes I have to go look in on my baby sleeping peacefully in her crib, happy where she should be, before I can fall asleep.

I guess it makes some sense. She spent 9 months quite literally connected to me, and several weeks after she was born she was almost always attached to me. Now that she can entertain herself more and doesn’t have to nap on me (that’s right, she even naps in her crib now), she doesn’t spend nearly as much time in my arms.

Which is more wonderful than words can say, of course. But some nights it leaves me with that strange homesickness.