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August 22, 2014

Home Sweet Home

Image: Flickr/Geoffrey Meyer-van Voorthuijsen

Image: Flickr/Geoffrey Meyer-van Voorthuijsen

“I take my children everywhere, but they always find their way home.” (Robert Orben)

Can we be honest about something? There are days when the idea of sending our children far, far away seems pretty darn appealing, doesn’t it? But Robert Orben is right: they always manage to find their way home — no matter how far away they go.

One of the most famous stories in history is one Jesus told about a prodigal son. The son was allowed to leave his family and squander his inheritance, but he ended up coming back home — only with a renewed appreciation and work ethic. Having gone away, he now saw his father and his home in a whole new light.

Maybe we should encourage our children to leave us, to make their own choices, to experience the world, to make some mistakes. We should, in essence, take them everywhere. Expose them to new cultures and foods and adventures. Show them things “out there”, and maybe they’ll come back to us as more self-aware, more compassionate adults.

And, if we know they will come back, at least metaphorically, the best thing we can do is make sure that our homes are ones we’d want them coming back to.

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