I grew up in a big house, not a mansion but in my memory it was a big house. My parents had a huge room with a big window that looked out onto the garden. My brother and I each had big rooms plus we had a toy room and our kitchen was enormous. Our garden was huge, there was a pool, a swing my oupa and dad had made, a tree house and an avocado tree that I very clearly didn’t appreciate enough.
Why am I telling you this? A few months ago David and I decided to put our home on the market. I was a part of the decision and agreed to it but once we had made the decision, it triggered major anxiety on my part. I didn’t expect to react the way I did. Earlier this week we decided to take the house off the market and it was like everything shifted back into place.
I grew up in one home. I lived there until I was 17 and then moved out (and then back in again but that’s not the point). That house represented stability, security and was a very big part of my life, and I assume my parents and my brother.
I have incredible memories in that home.
I remember jumping off the wall into the swimming pool.
I remember swinging too high on the swings.
I remember waking up on Christmas morning and seeing the Christmas tree lights sparkling down the passage.
I remember sleep overs and playing with neighbours.
I remember the floods that happened in the 80’s and our neighbours house literally floating past.
I remember learning how to drive there.
I remember slamming doors and sulking in my room.
I remember the avocado tree and the huge mess it made.
This is what the home we are now living in has come to mean to me. It is not just a building where we sleep, it is a part of my children, a part of David and I and the memories we are making. It is also stability.
The walls of our home hold our family secrets and memories.
The walls of the passage hold my silent cries in the middle of the night as I walked up and down with a baby who wouldn’t sleep.
The walls of our bedroom hold the fights David and I have that no one but us will ever hear.
The walls of our lounge hold the laughter as we play Lego or watch a movie.
The walls of our kitchen hold the successful meals we have prepared and ones that weren’t so successful.
My office holds the story of business and has heard my frustrations and my triumphs.
Our home is the setting for our story.
It is where we became a family, where Cameron and Kiara found stability. It is where Emma and Jack came home to after they were born.
It is where we have celebrated first steps, first days of high school, new jobs, engagements and birth announcements.
Every cracked tile, chipped wall and leaky tap and spill on the carpet has a story. It has our story and it is not one I am willing to change just yet.
I know many people have lived in different homes and moved around a lot. David grew up like that. Perhaps if you grew up like that a house is merely bricks and walls and that’s ok. To me, it is more and I want it to be more for my children.
Does anyone else feel this way about their home?
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