It’s been over 12 months since we’ve had a place to call our own. Twelve months since we boxed up all the dishes, candles, books, and spices and put them in storage. Twelve months since we crashed my in-laws house. Twelve months of breaking their glasses and dishes and irons and realizing how incredibly clutzy I am.
It’s been a process of letting go. Letting go of my expectations – how long it would take to sell our Florida home, how much everything would cost, how long it would take us to find a new home – and in general just letting go of my will.
After so much time and distance from familiarity and from all my “stuff,” I can’t even remember what color my dishes are, what pictures I own to hang on the walls, or what color my cloth napkins are. There are a million little things that seemed so important to my identity at one time, so important to making a “home.”
But now, I’ve realized I really do just need one thing to be home. Actually 2 little people and 1 handsome man. When I arrived at my parents’ home after attending a conference and not seeing the kids for 4 days (our longest stretch apart to date), T-Rex came bouncing down the sidewalk and jumped into my arms. He snuggled into my shoulder and stayed there, falling asleep in a matter of minutes. I know this year-long transition was hard for him. His little mind couldn’t wrap around what we were doing, and for a long time he asked if we were going to pick up our Florida house, put it on a truck and put it in Michigan. Now, a year later, even he seems to know what home really is – family. Togetherness.
As we start to wrangle paint colors, and furniture arrangement, and a craft room, and a laundry room, and finding just the right spot for the glasses and silverware, and designating a junk drawer and space for the piles of mail, I hope to maintain a healthy distance from my stuff. I want to always remember I own it, it doesn’t own me. That the right paint color doesn’t make my home a safe haven. That perfect furniture and photos on the wall don’t make me hospitable. That what matters most is the people inside the four walls, whether they be guests or residents, and that my love for them, and our love for each other is more important than how perfect my stuff looks.