Strangers will be walking through our home tonight. Stepping into our bedrooms. Peeking in our closets. Commenting on our paint choices. Passing by our family photos. Imagining their family here.
I can’t help but wonder who will step through this house, looking with a critical eye what I see with nostalgia. This is our first home, loved for 40 years by one couple, then adopted by us when we were only a family of 3. Our house is the first one Ella remembers and the place where we welcomed our baby boys home from the hospital. We have grown tremendously here, building life-long friendships, creating messes, laughing, crying, and figuring things out day by day.
As people walk through the halls, assessing the size, age, and functionality of this place, I hope they can catch a glimpse of what I see.
* A young couple unlocking the door to their home for the first time, seeing possibilities in the empty rooms, lying on the living room floor, delightedly declaring, “This is ours!”
* A backyard full of laughing, running kids, splashing in kiddie pools, swinging with abandon into the air.
* Neighbors sitting on their decks in the summer, barbecuing, chatting, smiling as neighborhood kids run through their lawns.
* Late nights snuggling newborns, lounging sleepily as the moonlight sneaks through the windows.
* A room painted green and pink, with brand new bunk beds, creating a Christmas surprise.
* Kids running through the house, up the stairs, circling the kitchen, giggling, out of breath from the chase.
* Family dinners around the table, kids wrinkling their noses at new foods, everyone chatting about their day.
* Paint chips agonized over and updates lovingly made over time, from a light switch here, a new color there, to cozy carpeting everywhere.
* A quick walk around the corner to the neighborhood school, taking sister to Kindergarten and enjoying family strolls to the playground.
* Videos of rolling, crawling, and tentatively taking those first steps.
* Bedtime stories, one more hug, and snuggles in the big chair.
* Firsts times 3, but really times 5 because we’ve all grown in this house.
This place might just look like wood, glass, and shingles to a stranger walking through. I hope there’s a family out there, though, who imagines themselves here making a home, who can see we’ll leave with incredible memories of this home. Our first home.