How did we get here?
I ask myself that question a lot.
A lot, a lot.
Remember that song?
The short story is this: we bought a little starter home when we married. We didn’t really have any plans after that, but when Husband’s family decided to sell their house and build their dream home, we just couldn’t resist.
I was a little worried. What would it be like to live in his family’s home? Would it ever feel like mine? Would he freak out if I wanted to change the light fixtures or put the silverware in a different place?
It’s such a nice house though, built solid, with Texas Limestone, in the 70s fashion – big rooms, big trees, big yard, biggo yellow counterops. At the time, it was the far end of the universe too. We couldn’t have known what was coming.
So we bought it. That’s not really the story though, the “how we got here” bit, the important part is why we stay.
We visited some friends a whle back, who had just bought five acres, on which they’ve built a lovely new home. I came home in tears. I begged him to consider selling the place moving outside of the city, to a place where we could breath and our kids could roam the woods.
Sometimes I ache to be free of this suburban sprawl. It’s disheartening, greying to the soul.
But I cannot deny it, this is home.
How could I leave it?
How could I walk away from the place where I set up shop as a cocky young freelance publicist, certain she’d set the world on fire from her headquarters in the room that once belong to her husband’s grandmother? That room evolved from office to playroom to schoolroom. How could I leave it to become something new, for someone who did not know all that it had been?
How could I leave our backyard, where we once built a stage and had a live band and fireworks to usher in the new millennium? The same yard that twinkled with white lights the night before my wedding, as my soon-to-be in-laws served every known relation barbecue and desserts, the likes of which I’d never imagined. This yard, where my husband once played with his dog, where I spent long Saturdays (pre-child Saturdays) reading in the hot tub. This is the yard where my chickens once pecked, where the boys grandfather once worked in his woodshop, where their Daddy now keeps his office, and where my boys swing and try to touch the sky. How could I leave it?
How could we leave when Peter Cottontail lives under our deck?
Afterall, this is where the Tooth Fairy and Santa know where to find us.
If we left, the new owners would want us to paint over all the little crayon marks and measures of time that tell you children live here.
I could not do that.
How could I leave this place, when this is where I dreamt of having children, painted a nursery, and, bewildered, brought home a our first child? And then another, and then one more? How could I leave the place where they learned to walk and talk, read and ride a bike without training wheels? How?
And how could I leave, knowing that all these wonderful little milestones of childhood were crossed by their father too, right in this very spot? That little boy is mine too, and his childhood is just as precious to me.
See, I feel a little like a a little girl playing tag. I’ve drawn my circle in the sand, declared it base, and nothing, but nothing can touch me here. Not Wal-Mart, not Old Navy, not Home Depot. This spot is ours, and we will not be made to leave it. Besides, I can’t help but look at my husband, his grown brother and sister and think that I’ve got the cards stacked in my favor. This ground has already proven fertile for growing.
This is home.