5 years ago I left it, I only lived in Portland for 5 years - yet it's the ONLY place I feel like home. I don't plan to ever return "for good", but every visit brings nostalgia on so many levels...
In 3 days I will see my boys. Both of my kids, age 18 and 23, live in Portland - oldest never left, and younger returned last summer...My "boys" (young men) are not somebody I write about...for many different reasons. I used to. I don't, anymore...
My boys are challenging, and my boys so far had been making choices that send my heart to sink, have sleepless nights, and disapprove many of their actions (as well as lack thereof in other ways).
But they are still my boys, my flesh and blood, I carried them, gave them birth, breastfed them, raised them to the best of my ability, and tried to teach them lots of good things. And I loved them always.
I still do. No matter what they do and where they are and how I feel about their choices, I love THEM.
I was driving to work today, and may be the proximity of seeing them, now both technically "adults", sent me down memory line. I just wanted to hug them, ruffle their hair, give them haircuts, clean them up, but new clothes...be a mom.
We had never lost a connection. I cherish it more than anything in the world. I don't have to sacrifice my beliefs and integrity to love my kids and have a close relationship with them.
Yes, it's unconventional.
They are the hardest thing I got to experience in life.
They are the best I had come to have and love unconditionally.