We were talking a few weeks ago, and it came up that, somehow, our house doesn't feel like "home" in the same ways that our 1 bedroom condo felt like home.
The reason for this isn't clear - we moved here 2 years ago, and we've spent our time since focusing on "getting by;" maintaining normalcy. Maybe we havent spent enough time on just "being". Perhaps it's because there are many things we'd like to change about this home, and the resulting guilt and feelings of unfinished business makes it feel like we haven't fully arrived. Or maybe it's simple selfishness: at the condo, we did what we wanted, ate what we wanted, bought what we wanted, traveled often, and stayed up as late as we pleased. Maybe the fact that we're no longer free to think only of ourselves makes home and family feel like responsibility; not a state of being.
I'd like to think we made some progress today. It started with a family gathering - my dad is here, my sister and her family come over for brunch, and I made Swedish pancakes for everyone. We enjoy having people over, and I'm glad we got to do it today.
Next, my dad helped us buy and assemble a real bed and some shelving for our girl. She's spent the past 2 years sleeping on a mattress on the floor in a room that is literally a closet. Last week, she began complaining about her uncomfortable toddler mattress, so I bought her a twin mattress. But she was still on the floor of a room that now seemed even smaller.
Today, we lifted her bed and my spirits: She has a real bed, with her own drawers for her own stuff. She has pink and purple Star Wars bedding! She has a place for her water and for her books and her stuffed friends. It's humanizing, and it felt good to involve her grandfather in one of the more memorable events of her life.
Maybe "home" is just time, positive experiences, and a little more comfort. Whatever it is that makes a house a home, I know there's more of it here today.