“We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.”
― Pascal Mercier
There isn't much to occupy the mind while painting. I found myself thinking about what an incredibly poor housekeeper I am, in general. Oh, sure, I have plenty of bouts of whirlwind-like cleaning where I simply can't stand the clutter or the dirt anymore. But, typically, I prefer to be tucked away with a book over scrubbing the baseboards. The Fiancé had a good chuckle remarking about that earlier today after he spent yet another Saturday here scrubbing and caulking.
As I painted, I thought about Things 1 and 2. That spot over there was from banging the table into the wall. This window ledge was where a tiny Thing 1 perched while he leaned over the bassinet of Thing 2, holding up a star. "Look, baby, it's a STAR!" The landing was where a two-year-old Thing 2 sat on his brother and pummeled him for an unremembered slight. The floor over by that door was where I sat with a distraught Thing 1 and promised to stop talking about school work. This doorway is where I always get a good morning hug from Thing 2. These steps are where we take our Annual First Day of School Photo. And on and on and on.
I thought about the hopes and dreams I held when I first walked through the door of this house. And then I remembered how almost all of them shattered. I tried to recall who I was when I came here, a 31-year-old mother of a toddler and pregnant almost to bursting with my second child. I stood on chairs with my huge belly, unpacking boxes of dishes while I hurriedly tried to make the house a home before Thing 2 came on the scene. She is a distant memory at best. She became Someone Else in this house. She became more self-assured, less afraid and more aware of what she wanted from her life. She became Me.
And then, as I painted, I thought about The People Who Will Live Here Next. With each stroke, I said a prayer for their new life here in this house. I hoped for joy. I prayed for love. I wished for understanding. I hoped for peace. I want The New People to feel the love in this house. We have poured a lot into it.
I know enough now to understand that "home" is not a place. Home is where you go when you need to be heard. Home is where you go when you need to feel loved. Home is where you will always be accepted and never turned away. Home is a family. I have found mine. And my family will live in a different house. And, so, I'm letting this house go. It's time for it to hear new laughter, to shelter new hopes and to foster new dreams.
I'm so excited. Who knows what Great Adventures will await us? But until then, I'm looking for someone to buy my house.
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