What does home mean?

Obviously, there are a lot of different answers for that question.

Most of the time I’m too busy actually “homemaking” to think about it much. But every so often the philosophy of home exerts itself.

Future Homes

Not too long ago my girls (16, 13, 11, 7) were sitting around talking about where they want to live when they grow up.

The youngest says maybe she’s going to move to live closer to her other cousins and her TN / KY relatives. (She’s 7 so those plans are probably subject to change.)

Our ballerina tells us she’s going to live in New York City. (Look out, world!)

Both the oldest say they want to live close to wherever their dad and I live. (Aw!)

Our 13 year old told us this: “And actually, I promised myself that I’d buy our old house when I grew up.”

Which is a goal that surprised me.

First Home

We bought that house in 2001 when we were expecting our oldest child. It was around 800 square feet. Two bedrooms. One bathroom. A basement with a ceiling so low my husband couldn’t stand up straight down there.

It was supposed to be our “starter house” but the real estate crash a few years later (and the fact that our income was fairly stagnant) meant we ended up staying there a lot longer than we had intended.

We lived in that house while we had the four girls and through a miscarriage and then the pregnancy of our oldest son.

Most of the time we lived there, particularly the last few years, I wanted to live somewhere, anywhere else.

The house was old. The neighborhood wasn’t great. It had only one bathroom, which was directly off the kitchen. It had two front doors and an awkward floor plan.

Although it had some nice features, it was definitely not MY dream home.

But that’s not what our daughter remembers.
first home

Memories of Home

She remembers the fun. The high ceilings and the light that flooded every room except the bedroom at the back.

And all the parties and Christmases and movie nights. She remembers playing on the back porch and in the yard with her sisters.

She remembers Home.

I don’t know if she’ll buy that house someday or not. It’s not outside the realm of possibility and stranger things have happened.

But the important reminder for me is that our children don’t necessarily remember the things we do. The annoyances of home ownership aren’t their problems. I remember outdated appliances and inconveniences.

She remembers safety and pleasant memories.

What Home Means

I know, in the end, that we can never really get back to the home we remember from our childhoods. I’ve visited the house where I grew up and honestly, it’s not really the same place any more.

Most likely my children will grow up and find out the same thing.

But right now I’m still co-creating the memories and connection of Home that will always go with my children as they seek their paths in the big, wide world. Wherever we might live or however we might decorate or remodel, the people and the memories are what makes our house into our home.

Inspiration and Ideas:

thinking about home

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