We outgrew our house two children ago, it is a lovely house but it’s been time to move on for at least the last five years. We have dithered and we haven’t dithered particularly pragmatically- I have been focused entirely on the shortcomings in our home; my husband, more sensibly, on the practical things we needed to achieve with it before we could move. It has been a bit of a sporadically unsettling experience. But now, finally, we are ready; it’s time to move!
For sixteen years we have lived here; our entire relationship spent within these walls. We planned our wedding from the kitchen table and came home here from our honeymoon and into our marriage. Into this house we have bought home four newborn babies and watched them grow. We have renovated, decorated, re-decorated, extended and painted. We have lived, laughed and loved; planned each new adventure, argued and cried. This house; a haven of both celebration- and occasional grief, has been where we have battened down the hatches and weathered all the emotional storms of family living; every inch of every wall contains a memory or an anecdote; our children have known no other home, our family has lived in no other house.
As we, very slowly, wade through the mammoth task that is ‘the big sort out’; inevitably this is unleashing an enormous stock of whimsical nostalgia- memories that will always be part of the bricks and mortar of this house. We are the only family to have ever lived in it; it’s memory is entirely about the life it has seen us live together- I cannot imagine another family sleeping in our bedrooms and watching TV in our lounge. How many different children will learn to walk on these floors in years to come? Will they ride their bikes in the field next to our house like our children do, buy their milk at the shop at the end of the road? Will they fill the loft with outgrown memories over the years just as we have done? It’s a very strange thought that this house, our HOME, will one day, in the near future, have that same symbolic resonance for strangers that we are yet to meet. I can’t quite get my head round it.
But for now,
it is still where we live.
And the walls will always keep our memories protected; the sound of my babies crying and their feet thumping on the stairs; the countless happy birthdays sung and all the noisy Christmases; they aren’t quite echoes yet.
It will always have been our home first,
it will always have been our first home!
I love this house.