Home is a corner room that looks out over Fourth avenue. Where I’ve got pictures and cards taped to the wall and Christmas lights arching over the window. It’s where the girls sneak in on Saturday mornings to grin and say hello and then jump on the bed before I can move. Home is stumbling up three flights of stairs after a long day to find the room lit gently. The wine is almost gone, but the red pot Mel found last summer at a flea market is on the stove, full of stew. She lets me taste. I promise not to tell the girls about the parsnips and sneak a second spoonful when she isn’t looking. Home is the scent of sage and pine. It’s an open window on an autumn morning. It’s promising to water each other’s plants when we travel and to send postcards. It’s group text messages about whose turn it is to buy toilet paper. It’s sharing the kitchen on a busy weekday night, bumping into each other while chopping squash or passing spices. It’s half-arguments about when to wash the dishes. It’s where we mourn as a group about the missing drinking glasses and tupperware. It’s shared pints of coconut ice cream. Shared loaves of sourdough. It’s where we learn things. The girls are learning to finish homework on time. The rest of us are learning some version of kindness, whether that’s to ourselves or others. I came a year ago. Ellie did not know if I would fit in the space her father gave me. It took some breaking in. I did not always say the right thing and should have asked forgiveness more. I started packing tonight. Ellie has promised me letters. They say home is where the heart is. My heart is like dandelion, scattered east and west, over countless borrowed spaces and kitchen sinks, like the one where I’m standing now, washing dishes for the friends who took me in.