Years ago I took out a ball of dough. I rolled it, patted it, and marked it with an H. I put the cookie cutter to it and carved out a house for family and me. Then, as a parent, I brought home newborns and raised them in this house, bringing it alive. Each experience, the good, the bad, and the ugly, is written here in stone, building a life story brick-by-brick. The daily happenings are mixed together to cement us together.
One day I put the car in reverse, started backing out of the driveway, and saw that my nine-month-old wasn’t in the car seat. Preoccupied with taking care of a bunch of kids, I had absentmindedly left my son in the house asleep in the crib. I ran back inside to get him and found him safe and sound in the arms of his bedroom. A house is not a living, breathing thing, but it takes care of its own, so we make sure to take care of it.
My husband’s hairline is receding from the stress of raising his children, much like the worn out shingles that cover the roof over our heads. However, our house has the luxury of turning deaf ears on the high volume of screaming kids and door slamming fights from teenagers that rattle the glass right down to the panes. When the pictures, posters, and artwork ripped off the paint without the courtesy of ouchless scotch tape it made not a sound. The invisible player in rowdy games of indoor dodge ball, it always threw back whatever slammed into its solid walls. Joining in to echo the strains of Happy Birthday made every member’s special occasion a pleasant acoustic celebration.
My children have ruthlessly scuffed up the hard wood with wheels from walkers and toys galore. The dog has run circles around the rooms, scratching deep nail marks into the floor of its existence. At times it may seem as if my house is straight out of a Stephen King novel, because the car in the garage is begging my son to drive it after curfew. It becomes a bit more eerie when my teen actually gives this piece of rubber and steel the name Gianna.
So, why would my high school graduates want to leave the comfort of the home that they grew up in to go and live in a shoebox that is called a dorm room? With personality differences and little square footage the appeal is beyond me. Perhaps they want to feel some of the discomfort that Jesus did when He slept in the desert and fasted, because the space in which college students are given to co-habitat in is a sacrifice. Honestly, the loaves and the fishes and the bread and the water can be better than the cafeteria food!
Through the years this place has put up with many trials and tribulations, blanketing all who resided and entered here with a body of comfort and warmth. Silently, it listened to the crying over friendships and wrong decisions that resulted in lost privileges. It took a pounding, and when needed bulked up to necessary repairs so it could continue to shelter those near and dear. But the writing has always been on the walls from the beginning. My kids are finally going to pick up all the stuff laying around that I have been yelling about for years and leave, without us.
A house is planted in the dirt and out of its foundations a family grows. The front door opens on the soul of heart and home. The windows are like eyes looking out and keeping neighborhood watch on the charges that abide within its domain. Then, one day, the house speaks in sign language. Next, the sale is made. The Cape Cod stands silent and empty, but still it is tall and proud, until, in a matter of mere minutes, it comes tumbling down, lying in splinters on the ground. The destruction of one piece of history and the raising up of another family tree begins. From a simple, humble abode to a million dollar house the construction begins. And so yesterday repeats itself, and one more clan is born. God bless this house.