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.
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.
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.