Exactly this time last year, we were moving out of our 1000 square foot, two bedroom apartment and into our first home. Together, we were a woman giddy with excitement, spilling over with dreams, and dewey from a growing baby 4 months in the oven + a man, proud and ambitious with projects and possibility.
Built in the 1960's, we walked through our empty rooms wondering what memories were baked into the brick adorning the end unit town-home, what little hands and feet had brushed by its front door with backpacks and bicycles, what furry paws had played in the shady, fenced yard. But we also wondered what stories we would contribute, what mark we would make in whatever time this house would be ours.
Over the past year, our lives have unfolded in incredible ways with the walls of this place a witness to it all. If this house could talk, it would probably start by thanking us for the paint, but wondering if we really meant to make every room so blue. (To which I would answer, 'no, dear walls, you were supposed to be grey but choosing paint has never been my forte and you still look good so just roll with it').
It would echo the loud barks of our wild dog as he propped up against its windows, cursing it for blocking his way to the feline terrors roaming the streets and threatening his space.
It would tell the story of how a woman and that man started with empty rooms and notebooks of page long checklists, how they slowly began to fill the echoing spaces with pieces gathered, borrowed, bought, and gifted, pouring time and sweat along with family and friends into stripping, moving, and cleaning it for a fresh start.
It would tell a love story between those two, how they sat on the back patio in the mornings that first summer, her belly growing bigger by the day, drinking hot coffee and talking about the future. How they would leave with their dog on warm days and come back splattering mud and water everywhere, chasing him out to the hose to bathe in bubbles and sunlight.
How she would sit in the empty nursery, trying to picture it filled with little books and bears, letting small tears of excitement and fear fall onto the floor below. How he would sit with her into the night and talk to that baby, making up stories that eliminated the tears and had her rolling with laughter instead.
If this house could talk, it would tell of how things were suddenly quiet for a few days, and then there were 3 instead of just 2.
There were footsteps in the night and the click of a rocking chair and tiny coos from a baby girl whose warmth and joy radiated through every room. It would have soaked up lullaby's and the smells of warm dinners brought by new friends.
It would tell it's unbiased opinion on their arguments about time spent during long, winter days cooped inside its warm yet confining embrace, of budgets and bills and savings, of relationship scars and uncertain paths-- how they were both so passionate, how he was so patient and usually right, how they somehow always ended with long hugs and "I love you."
More "I love you's" than stars in the sky.
It would tell of how more friends began to circle and their voices filled the space with truth and prayer.
How that baby girl began to babble and her giggle could fill it's every nook with light.
How sometimes, the man and woman would stand in the kitchen, making pizza and drinking wine, laughing sloppy, belly laughs like kids until they were bent in two and wiping watering eyes.
How she would sing silly songs to that baby about dishes and laundry part-time, then hustle to build her dreams with business and creativity for the other part.
How he could go from professional computer wiz to professional raspberry blower and baby bouncer in a matter of seconds.
It would know the words to "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and "If You Give a Mouse A Cookie" by heart.
If this house could talk, I'd like to think it would tell a story of beautiful beginnings. That in it's long life witnessing family after family, it would say this family was full of joy, big dreams, and gratitude for it's part in their story. I'd like to think it would take credit for its great bones, for willingly becoming their blank canvas for new nail holes and paint colors, and for being a humble and safe next level in the man and woman's journey.
I hope it would say it was no longer a house, but a home.