In 1913 a house was built, and the front of the house had a little porch. Years went by, the house was expanded and the little front porch was turned into an itsy bitsy room off the kitchen.
Shortly after we were married we bought the quirky farmhouse. The tiny room serving as a cozy breakfast nook with perfect morning sun. Until one morning, a plus sign on a stick had me overjoyed, slightly nauseous, and daydreaming about a little nursery.
But in the blink of an eye, the baby was gone and for the next two and a half years my heart, and the room, were vacant.
And then, in the midst of struggle and unimaginable yearning, a phone call changed everything. A woman made a brave choice and we would finally be parents.
The room, once again, was entered with delight and hope. Windows were cleaned, walls were painted and a crib and changing table were wedged in the rooms tiny corners.
A baby came and filled the room with happiness. A year flew by and another baby came home. The babies grew and the room, the entire house, was bursting with color and noise and abundant joy.
We no longer live in the quirky little farmhouse and have put it up for sale. I’m happy our lives have sent us in a new direction, but each time I show the house, I can’t help but feel pangs in my heart. Those walls are painted with our history. Our tears and our laughter still live in its nooks and crannies.
Yesterday I was putting clothes away in the kid’s rooms and I paused to look around. Not glance as I hustled through things, like I tend to do, but really look. I saw blankets with frayed edges from hundreds of nights wrapped around tiny bodies. I saw perfect little handprints on the windows from two children always dying to know what’s going on in the world around them. I realized that we have already started to paint these walls with our stories. That, in our short time here, our laughter has found the nooks and crannies to permanently reside in.
As cliche as it sounds, it was a nice reminder that home is where the heart is. Home isn’t defined by an address. It is defined by the love and the life that seep into its walls.
I will miss the quirky little farmhouse…But I’ve taken the best parts of it with me.