Wednesday, February 23, 2011

a house is just a house

It always takes me a while.  One year at least.  I shift, and stack.  Pull apart and reorganize.  I move this here, and move it back.  My husband can never find anything because it is always being moved.  It has taken me a year and a half to find the right place for the vitamins.
But eventually, things start to find a place.  We reach for the pancake mix, or oregano, or Mylanta, and it's there.  Right where it's supposed to be.  Everything finally fits.  And then it is all disrupted again.

A house is a big deal to a mom.  It is where I live and where I work.  There are days when I do not leave the house.  This move has me reevaluating what it takes to make a house-- of all the boxes and boxes of stuff to move, all of the houses we looked at-- what is really necessary after all?

Every morning I turn on one soft light, and the baby squints and buries her head in my neck.  One soft light is added to my list.

Three times a day there are two little chairs drug across the floor and banged into cupboards, entirely in my way.  It takes twice as long to prepare the meal and a hundred times longer to clean-up, but I find myself thinking that this is necessary: a kitchen counter with room for two small chairs, when the baby is old enough, three.

I need a table.

A house doesn’t have to be big.  I prefer cozy. It doesn't need to be new. I have no need for Corian. I do like clean. I like windows. I love built-ins. Good kitchens are nice.

From where I sit rocking the baby through the crack in the door there is a map of the world on the wall, and something about this to me seems necessary.  As I rock to sleep one small, wild, precious life- in a world of precious lives; wondering what it all means, how to love her in such a way that she will in turn love the world.
Books matter, and enough toys but not too many, and a place to put it all away.  We need windows that let in lots of sunshine.  The kids need a small, private spot to curl up when they feel like being alone, and a place to play outside.  We need to feel safe.

Annie needs her magic chair.
This change seems less scary than I expected because this time, the essentials won't change.  Our daily rhythms, our together, won't change.  The parts that make life really meaningful, the pieces of a home that I cannot live without are going with me.  Our new house will be older, bigger, snowier, urban, far from here.  But, familiar.  It is only new walls around the home that is already us.  A house is just a house.


Crimson Design said...

Jess I love this. Your house is a reflection of you and your family...the people who live there

MommyJ said...

This is my favorite blogging line in a really long time:

"It is only new walls around the home that is already us."

So perfectly put!

Elizabeth said...

Jess this is beautiful. You always have such a way with words. I'm looking forward to seeing all that God has in store for your family with this move!

Fijufic said...

You have your priorities in line. I get stressed out in the midst of big changes.

If everything stayed the same nothing would change (I cannot remember who made that quote)


Jo@Mylestones said...

A house is just a house.
And all that matters we take with us.

Looking forward to seeing you in that next set of walls.