I didn’t want this. I remember coming to see this house and telling my husband on the drive “I don’t want it. I don’t want to live there.” And then I walked into the dining room and looked out the back at the pond and I whispered “I want to live here.” But I still didn’t want it. Know what I mean?
I’ve fought living here almost as long as we’ve lived here. Something about renting and not having any control. Something about the way the floors are cold and the kitchen floor is saggy. Something about all the paneling. Something about it.
And then I catch this glimpse this morning. Out by that same pond. I have no clue what they were doing out there. I have no clue what conversations were being had or secrets were being shared. I have no clue. All I know is that as soon as I saw it, I knew this was it. I knew this was the childhood I wanted them to remember. This place, with the saggy floors and the paneling. This place with the spiders and the turtles. I want them to remember this.
And I realized this is not wasted. This is not our forever home. It is not ours and it never will be. But for now, it’s our place. It’s the space on the planet that we inhabit and it’s where my children are living out their childhood. This pond, the little swing set out back. The stray cat and the many many people riding their bikes in the summer time. The spiders and the snow egrets. The snakehead and more spiders. The way the doors stick. All of it. It’s not wasted. It’s not perfect but it’s not wasted. This time. This space. It’s growing us. It’s growing my kids and it’s growing me.
Today, they were amazed at the way the pond is frozen. Such a small thing. In a few months, there will be turtles in the yard and she’ll be running in to look them up in her pond book. And he’ll be making mud pies in all the mud puddles. And in a few years, I will look back on this time and even though part of me wanted to hate it, I’m gonna love it. I know I will.