It’s true that you wake up one morning and suddenly realize you’re a different person. In the midst of the transition, you’re usually at the bottom of some pit, miserable, whiny, and thinking the end will never be in sight. But even when you’re able to say definitively that a change occurred, you still can’t pinpoint exactly when it did. It just happened at some point and now things will forever be different.
We put up a swing set in our backyard. It was a grand neighborhood adventure. We purchased it from a neighbor whose children had outgrown it, but who had kept it in fabulous condition. He organized its transport to our yard, two houses over and one up. I met a neighbor – and his much-appreciated motorcycle-turned-tree-house-trailer – that I never had before. Two other neighbors brought their children to play and watch with mine while they helped the other men. The seller and his son stayed on to help my husband finish assembling it while the kids called to them, saying hello and ‘can we go on it yet?’ Many hands make light work and I was so appreciative of their efforts and how happy they made my children.
After the excitement died down and just our three children swung and my husband and I surveyed the scene, I realized it. I realized our life is forever altered. We are different people here.
But in a totally positive, wide-open way.
We ask for and accept offers of help from our neighbors. We relax on our porch and watch the trees blow in the breeze. We have places to sit and read, whilst our children do some other activity nearby. We have spots on the floor perfect for laying out vintage matchbox car tracks complete with loop-de-loops. We have hooks for towels. And room to swing around in the bathroom without smashing into some manner of porcelain. There are dormers and transoms and skylights and fanlights. There are angles and peaks, nooks and crannies.
Our entire perspective has changed.
The neighbor who sold us the swing set said it still feels like vacation even after living in his home for nearly two decades. The light, airy feeling of vacation is nice, wonderful indeed.
But looking at that swing set to the profile of our home beside it, I realize this plot of land, this place and time we’ve landed in is a dream come true. The realization of some nebulous idea I formed as a child.
Suddenly and unequivocally, this is home. I can’t say exactly when it happened, but I can now say with certainty, we are home.