Last weekend after my son’s ski race, we dropped off another ski team member and began heading towards our home in the other section of the city.
My husband was driving and he missed our usual turn off.
I almost said something to him, but decided to just let him drive, as I know that sometimes he likes to try different ways home.
But then, he missed another turn and I thought, Okay, what is going on here? Where besides home is he going, I wondered?
Until, I realized he was going Home indeed.
To our NEW house. Okay, wild and weird and crazy.
At that moment, I said to my husband:
“I was about to tell you that you are going the wrong direction home, but then I realized you are going the right direction home,” I smiled.
He nodded in agreement: “I have done the same thing a couple of times, starting to drive toward our View Drive home.”
My son smiled as well.
It has been weird for us all.
After 29 years on View Drive, the only house we have ever lived in and the only home that my kids have lived in, we bought a new house, and moved a couple of weeks ago.
October 1, 2018 was the day we officially got our keys from our realtor and signed our life away, which is what it felt like.
It took me a while to post something on social media about our house purchase because when you publish something for the world to see, it somehow makes it really real. You’ve heard, “It’s Facebook official.”
Home, house, where you live, where you hang your hat and your heart, where you raise your family, your place of belonging, the space where you make your home.
About half way through the day of our “official” move, I walked into my bedroom of our View Drive house, and I sobbed.
think it all just hit me at once. Our house was filled with a few friends and family who were there helping us move the majority of our boxes and furniture, and I had been fine staying busy directing folks and offering coffee and donuts and snapping photos; but then, at the moment just before we were about to take the first U-Haul truck load over to our new house on Riverlane Road, all the emotion of it all hit me. It was like I finally allowed myself to feel.
Before that, it felt surreal and I hadn’t taken the time to think about the meaning behind of this.
What were we doing? Moving after residing 29 years in the same house, our only house we have ever purchased up until now, the very home that I brought all five of my babies home to, the only home my kids have ever known.
We were moving away from what was familiar and comfortable and safe, the place where we had made hundreds of memories, of large and small events, of milestones and daily ordinary days. We were moving away from Wendy and Bill and Shelley and Midori and Janet and Dave and Ann and Kristin.
I wondered at that moment of sobbing if our new Riverlane house would ever feel like home like our View Drive one did. So many people, including my kids’ friends, have told us over the years that our View Drive home feels so cozy and warm and welcoming and homey inviting. Would our new Riverlane one ever feel that cozy?
And, I reflected back to September when my twins had come home from to look at the Riverlane house before the sale was final; we wanted their feedback and thoughts on the house. This moving is a huge deal in our lives. Our youngest son, who is the only one still living at home full time, liked the new house, and we wanted our twins’ thoughts as well.
As my twins walked through the home and yard, they were nodding their head and I was trying to read them, and one of the twins seemed like he liked it while the other one seemed more reserved.
And then the more reserved twin said words that cut me to the heart:
“I don’t know, it doesn’t feel very homey, like our old house does.”
Those words cut me to the core.
Home. Making our home cozy is something that I truly value as the mother of five children, creating a place that is safe and comfortable and homey and warm.
While I knew this was a big deal for my husband and me, I don’t think I truly realized how important and big this was to our kids up until that point, and my son’s comment solidified that reality.
This was a huge deal for us all.
I had worked for 29 years to make our home on View Drive homey and welcoming with paint colors and indirect lighting and new windows and comfy furniture and pictures on the walls.
But I think what my son was saying went deeper than just the physical space, though I do believe there’s something to that; and yet, the coziness is also representative of something more – a lifetime of memories and love shared.
Our old house was where we hosted Easter egg hunts for our neighbors, family, and friends; where we celebrated Christmases and hosted barbeques and birthdays and movie nights and gatherings.
It was where we tried to make Love reside while we lived our family’s story for years.
So with our new space I was pondering all of these thoughts and my kids’ thoughts and the thoughts of friends and family, and in the end, through a series of back and forth waiting and negotiating and inspections and bidding, we ended up purchasing this house on Riverlane Road. And prayed my kids would find it homey and cozy in time!
Since receiving our keys, we have been fixing up the place to make it move-in ready ever since.
What is move-in ready? Making our new house a home. The words of my son regarding having a cozy, homey house were stamped onto my heart with every decision and wall color and floor choice.
So, as we have labored the last three and a half months, tearing down walls and adding windows and changing the floors and altering every wall color, I have thought through my vision to make my house a warm and inviting home.
While I cannot change the fact that this is not the home that my kids came home to when they were born, I can make it the home they want to come home to now as teens and young adults and as married adults kids with their own young families.
I can offer a place where they are always welcome, where they will be listened to and heard, where they matter, where they can rest and find refuge and love and acceptance -- a place of belonging, the place that is always home to them.
The place where my kids belong and the place where Love is, because that is where their family is, where their mom and dad are. Where the love of God is felt through the people.
In the end, it is my prayer that Home be the place that my kids will always find their way back to, just like we did on the day of the ski race.