I squinted critically at the Great Prepare The House for Painting Project - whole swathes of cedar shingles in various stages of scraped or painted, giving passers-by the distinct impression of a bad case of mange.
On the way inside I kicked the kids' buckets, scooters and bike helmets out of the way disgustedly. A pigsty, I muttered darkly to myself. This place is a total pigsty. [A brief reality check here: who says pigs are so filthy? I mean, did you ever see a pig with a million dusty tchochkes on the shelves, or hear a pig complain about paying too much at the Container Store for organizing products?]
I heard the tap dripping upstairs, all the way from the front hallway, and set my purse down amongst the pool totes, reusable shopping bags, and backpacks cluttering the rug. Sure would be nice to have a hall closet for the kids to ignore, I groused.
Stupid house. Stupid old time-sucking money-hemorrhaging house.
Monday morning found me with a listless and crying six year old on my lap, pressing the sides of his throbbing head to somehow lessen the pain. Monday afternoon found me in the pediatrician's office, the lab to offer blood samples, and, by evening, a radiology center for further tests.
Honestly I didn't think much about my house, or the junk inside or the case of mange outside, this Monday morning. Didn't think at all about it, in fact, until I heard a wavery plea from the face buried in my neck: please take me home, Mommy. I just want to go home.
This was the refrain I heard all day, as we waited the long minutes for our name to be called. Please take me home, Mommy. I just want to go home.
To him it was not the stupid old time-sucking money-hemorrhaging house. To him it was rest, it was reassurance, it was cool darkness and sheets that smell like 'our' laundry detergent. Home had not the first thing to do with peeling paint or dripping taps.
That's how this house works. Because this house is, to us, home.
This post is submitted as part of Peter Pollock's One Word at a Time Blog Carnival. The theme is 'Home', and although I've been pretty clear with all of you that my true home will always be England, there is a pretty charming little spot right here near Baltimore that's got a tight hold on my heart.