“It’s just a house,” they say. It isn’t the structure that matters, it’s the family within.
“It’s just a house,” they say. Houses come and go. Families are forever.
“It’s just a house,” I, too, would have a said. Before it was my house. Before it was my family.
Having grown up in over half a dozen houses, I knew better than to be attached to things. Attached to places. Attached to anything.
Outside of myself. And even that at times was a tenacious relationship.
Young, naïve, and hopelessly in love. I took his hand, and we bought a house, planning our future before he even popped the question. But we knew. We knew we were in it for the long-haul. We knew we were in it forever. We knew we were going to have a family. We knew we were going to be happy.
Blood, sweat, tears. We poured everything into this house. Our love.
We took something that others saw as damaged and turned it into something beautiful. Much like our souls.
“It’s just a house,” they say. Just a place to store our things.
I wanted to agree with that. I wanted it not to mean so much. Because attachment always hurts. Even if it’s something you get to keep forever.
We learned to truly love one another in this house. We learned what it meant to love the broken and the damaged. What it meant for things to be so hard, and yet so easy because you love someone so unconditionally.
We brought our first child into the world in the living room of this house. Our whole world changed for the better. Our hearts instantaneously healed in ways we could’ve never imagine. The tan leather sofa to my back. Those big antique windows with the curtains drawn. That fireplace with its weirdly loveable green tile to my right. A view of our dining room and the wall paper that has come to be my frenemy.
We spent hours pacing the halls, sitting on the porch, rocking and soothing our colicky baby. Nights crying in the living room with a newborn and a sloppy latch. Our hearts growing exponentially despite the tears.
She tasted her first foods, said her first words, moved those tiny little feet precariously into the world, unafraid and unhindered because in this house, she knew she was loved.
We made pro/con lists deep into the wee hours of the night as to whether or not we should add to our family.
The answer was yes. Always yes. Before the list was even created, we knew.
Because in this house, we could do anything. Be anything.
He came in the morning, our sweet first boy. Bright eyes and calm, he was ours and he was perfect.
There was heartache and there was loss. People gone from this world long before our hearts were ready. But we took solace in the confines of this house.
We drank coffee and ate ice cream, and when the moments demanded it, we talked through those big feelings we didn’t want to deal with.
I wept with joy when we learned of Sweet M’s impending arrival. The baby we were certain would never be ours.
And laughed giddily at the two little lines indicating he would be a big brother, unaware in those moments that like her siblings, she would not enter the world in the safety of these walls. She would not be born in the home we have built.
And while her future is just as bright and exciting, I can’t help but feel saddened that her beginnings will not be in the same place.
“It’s just a house,” they say.
Yes, yes it is just a house.
But it’s also the first house that was also my home.