It's good to be home.
When I was a kid, my father was in the Air Force so we moved a lot. I never had a hard time with moving. I always found the idea of a fresh start every few months or years very comforting. Apparently, I enjoyed it so much, I've continued the pace into my adulthood without being affiliated with the military.
At one point, we lived in Germany, but closer to an Army installation than the three Air Force bases nearby. The three Air Force chapels formed one HUGE parish. The little Army chapel had it's own separate parish. Now, I'm not saying there was anything wrong with the mega parish, but that tiny Army parish was really special. They had one mass each weekend. Everybody knew everybody. It was the kind of parish where a mom with young kids could still show up, even if her husband was unable to attend. If the two year old got wiggly, no problem. He could go sit with his babysitter (me) in the pew behind. Had a baby that was not sleeping through the night? Just pass to the left. Everybody just pitched in and it was instant family. I've missed that parish dynamic over the years.
We moved the last two summers. This last move brought us to a small county in Northern Florida. There is only one small parish for this county. One mass each weekend.
This time, I'm the mom with the young kids. Last night, I took my kids to Mass/Soup/Stations. E was feeling sick so I was flying solo. Another solo-flying mom and I teamed up to flank our kids in the pew and help navigate dinner. And M, now 4 months old, was passed around and around. And when I had to bring V to Jesus for shucking shoes and socks and running around the altar, I had no problem passing M off, tackling my almost 3 year-old and swatting her rear end right there in the church- in front of God and everybody as the saying goes. (My crew and I left before stations was over.)
I love this parish. This is home. My children are known and loved. They are home here. I am blessed beyond measure to be here.
And I'm very happy and content to not move again. Maybe forever.