The house is shockingly quiet when my kids aren’t home. There’s a stillness I can’t describe. Interestingly, Ally went away this weekend, the same weekend that is the traditional “college drop-off” weekend, which a year from now we will be participating in.
Suddenly the house feels too big, too verbose. It begs for raucous sounds, yelling and laughing, the incessant opening and closing of refrigerator and cabinet doors. The smell of TAG and Wink, the piles of shoes and back packs in the hallway that make me ABSOLUTELY NUTS.
The house was never right for a family, not laid out in a way that small kids could sprawl, and adults could live comfortably. I always wanted a different scheme, always wished for that fourth room on the first floor, a luxurious bath and closet the size of the sky. We fixed it up a little at a time, but it always begged for more, and there were other things we wanted, trips and experiences we felt would make memories we’d think about on our death beds. With constantly rising prices in our town, we never could quite buy something better than what we had (and in the gratitude department, our nine room money pit is in a great location, 15 minutes from downtown Boston, with a tiny yard and the loveliest neighbors, so believe me, I’ve always felt lucky, even though it has never taken my breath away).
Whereas once it was too small, in a year, it will be too big. This poor house’s self-esteem must be dragging from my perpetual disappointment in it. Maybe the message is that a house is just that, a place that shelters. Its inhabitants make it a home. (MAN, it took me a long time to get that.)