I was content there, in the darkness of your belly.

The comfort of your beating heart and muffled voice kept me company as I grew within, stretching and tumbling about.

I didn’t know there was anything else; never guessed that so soon I would enter a world of overwhelming light.

You were my home.

As those practiced hands led me to the warmth of your waiting chest, your gentle whisper met my ears with the three sweetest words, “I’m your mama.”

But you didn’t have to tell me—I already knew.

I recognized the caress of your voice and the scent of your skin as your presence wrapped around me in a blanket of calm, welcoming me home.

Because whether I’m inside or out, Mama, you are my home.

This place is so unfamiliar. The sights and sounds. The smells and touches.

People rush by poking and prodding and peering down at me with curious eyes. When cries fall from my lips, they look at me with confusion as they play a silent guessing game.

But never you, Mama. You always seem to know just what I need, and you comfort me in a way that no one else can.

Maybe it’s because I’m a part of you. I came from you, and even now our hearts seem to beat as one.

It’s a rhythm that feels like home.

The scenes around me are an ever-revolving door. We’ve traded the blinding whiteness of that very first place for the calmness of a room whose quiet is punctuated only by the ticking of the clock on the wall. I can’t quite make sense of it all, so I just sink more deeply into your arms and breathe you in.

No matter what the room around us looks like, Mama, you are my home.

At times I wake to find that shadows have quietly fallen around me. I call out to you in the only way I know how, and in an instant you’re there beside me, answering my midnight stirrings with patience, loyalty, and grace.

Your soft breath gently tickles my cheek as you sing to me in the one voice I know from the inside out.

I am home.

There’s so much I have yet to learn about this world, Mama, but there’s one thing I know for certain:

When I’m unsure, when I’m afraid, or lonely, or hungry, or tired, or any number of other things at any other time . . . I know you’ll be there.

I know you’ll come to me.

I know you’re my safe place, and that I’m yours, too.

I know even though there is air between us now, we’ll always be one, you and I.

And Mama? Above all else, I know you will forever be my home.

Casey Huff

Casey is a middle school teacher turned stay-at-home-mama to three littles. It's her mission as a writer to shine light on the beauty and chaos of life through the lenses of motherhood, marriage, and mental health. To read more, go hang out with Casey at: Facebook: Bouncing Forward Instagram: @bouncing_forward