November 12, 2009

The Home of Your Youth.

There was a moment today, when I was sitting in Myer's room in the dark, feeding him his bottle before his afternoon nap, when I realized something profound.

It hit me when I heard Ezra's happy steps skip-running up and down the hallway in front of Myer's bedroom door. He was getting all his afternoon toys set up to play with in his room (we had just returned from picking him up from school) and he was singing to himself- collecting everything he needed from the other parts of the house in order to make his life complete.

I realized that this is the only home Ezra has ever known. And he adores it.

Suddenly, while snuggling Myer there in the dark, I was hit with a flood of memories. This is how it works for me. There is absolutely no way that I can recall memories when I want to or when I try to but every once in a great while, the memories will find me. They will search me out and pour over me like warm liquid.

My heart was gripped with the memory of my own childhood home. To me, back then, it was like heaven on earth. The only home I'd known. My childhood eyes saw nothing of chipped paint or those persistent leaks that appeared with every torrential rain. They saw only the cozy nooks that were perfect for reading books on lazy afternoons. They saw the big rock out front with its emery-shaped hollow that was seemingly scooped out of the stone just for me to rest in while waiting for the bus every morning. They saw the joys of leaping from the top deck when the snow drifts built high enough. They saw how the roof of the shed out back angled you perfectly to see the mountains and stars when you sprawled out on your back at dusk.

home, then.

While I sat in my own home this afternoon, it was like my mind was suddenly re-filled with images of every fort, trail, and tree that I had loved as a little girl. And before I could pull my mind back to reality, I realized that I had hot tears running down my face. It felt like I'd been reunited unexpectedly with a loved one... a part of myself that I was missing and desperately longing to see again without even knowing it.

The beautiful part of all of this was not that I got to remember my own home, but that I came to understand that my son feels the exact same way about the little house we are in now. He has his routines and quirks when he is at home and now I am so blessed to realize how precious and comforting and life-giving this place has become to him. I think it takes a few years for a house to REALLY feel like a home... where you are comfortable and at peace with every inch of the place because you've all tweaked it and twisted it until it fit you and your family just so.

I love how Ezra bursts through the door when we get home from being somewhere and starts shedding things in specific places. Shoes in the living room, coats on his bed, and backpack by the couch if he's got it. He spreads toys strategically around on the living room furniture- lately just out of reach of a certain grabby baby's hands. He gets a cup from the drawer and fills it with ice and water from the fridge. He likes to play in the front part of the house in the morning, and in the back part of the house in the afternoon. I think it's a sun thing. He seems to follow the warmth that comes through the windows.

home, now.

It's so strange to realize that my house has become that for someone... a refuge for a small boy who will grow into a man and treasure the memories of this hallway or this kitchen like they are a buoy that his youthful heart can tether to.

Who can be bothered to care too greatly about chipped paint or scratched floors with such a knowledge as that in their head? Heart-floating memories are being made! Stop and enjoy them! Stop and join in! It seems like no one is happy with where they are at anymore. The phrase "oh, it's just a starter home" grates on my nerves like almost nothing else.

A home can be made from any place... it just needs a grateful, content heart as the hearth- one that is not too preoccupied with what is wrong, but rather, what is right.


Laura said...

This is perfect for me today. I was just sulking earlier because I don't have my own big bathtub. How irrelevant. Thank you thank you. <3

mrs boo radley said...

Oh this is SO true, Emery! My home for the first ten years of my life was the size of a postage stamp. But we had the BEST memories there! I wouldn't trade them for all the space in the world! I am thankful that my parents surrounded me with love and kindness to make it all complete.

I love this post with heart and soul.

thegrauers said...

Encouraged by your words as we are about to move to a smaller place. I have so many memories of our home of thee years, which really is the longest I have every lived anywhere in my life. We have snuggled by the fire, swam in the pool continuously during the summer, and I have even given birth here. Yet, I know and believe that this is not my true home and for me wherever my little family is there is life and lots of love! Thanks for reminding me! love ya

Catherine Hansen Peart said...

You have written this so beautifully. It brought back floods of memories of my grandparents home for me. An old house on a farm filled with warmth, love and homebaked cookies. There are so many little touches from that home that I still try to recreate in my home for my children. Flannelette sheets with little flowers on them, big old comfy beds, lace curtains, piping hot porridge sprinkled with sugar waiting when we woke up... but, most importantly, the warmth and love that embraced us.

Rita Ortloff said...

Aw, I love this Emery! My mother always referred to our home as "the nest". I think that really is the right sentiment.

And your nest is lovely.

Katy said...

I love my house that I grew up in. My parents still live there. When I go home for weekends or even Christmas break, there is nothing like that feeling of being "home". The smells, the rooms, the furniture, the memories. It's amazing. I am so sad that next year, I will be 10 hours away from home, and won't get to go home every other weekend. :-( maybe it'll make it more special when I do get to go home?! we'll see..

LaurenHansen said...

Beautiful words! I can relate in that I have a little condo to live in and raise my baby boy in...I used to wanted to move like crazy but now we have made it into such a cozy, warm home and it's just so full of love. I'm excited to raise him here and it is so neat to think about it from a child's perspective!

Zimms Zoo said...

I feel exactly the same. We have made our house our "home" and I don't feel the need to move. It is almost paid for and that in itself is joyful! But my #3 child was born in our bathtub. I don't want to leave that memory. Even with another scary event happening in our own home on Wednesday I don't feel too fearful. If you are constantly looking for something better, you will never be happy, and miss out on all the important events and memories, just like you said!

Deb said...

You have written this exquisitely...lovely thoughts and memories... thankyou!

meg said...

I really don't like when people refer to our home as a "starter house" like there's something wrong with it and they're giving us an excuse or an out. I love our tiny house (ask me again after the baby's born and then in another 9 months though).

This home will always have a special meaning for us, and sometimes I wish people would leave it alone.

Danae said...

Thanks Emery, so beautiful!!

jilian dee said...

it's weird to wake up and realize that you're out of your childhood and now creating a childhood for someone else. yet its the best :)

post script: I'm listening to your recorded stuff, I saw it when I clicked on your pregnacy diaries, and I must say kudos

gurlygrl83 said...

Hello! I have been a silent follower of yours for a while. I stumbled across your blog one day when I googled '35 weeks pregnant' to compare my gigantic belly to someone else's gigantic belly to make myself feel better (haha). And there was your beautiful belly and your super addicting blog! Skip to the point of my need to comment after all these months of silence. This post made me think of this song that I love by Miranda Lambert Called the House that Built me. It makes me think of my home growing up and how much we attach ourselves to material things when all really want to remember are the memories created in the houses that made us who we are.