We’re in our new house. It was a move that will be remembered by the many helping hands that loaded boxes into our rented van and drove them half a mile up the road, only to lift them out again and carry them into our new house. The kindness that was shared with us is something that I will remember for many days and hope to be able to return to others who are in a tricky situation. And somewhere in there there was the end of our kids’ school, a neglected anniversary and birthday, a week of sickness, and a heroic rescue mission from my Mom, who flew in from the East coast after I had been very sick for a week.
Our first days in this house will be remembered by the doorbell ringing like clockwork every afternoon, and the opened door revealing a sea of smiling faces of neighborhood kids of varying statures ready to play. Or walking into the back yard to see ten kids, only three of them mine, sitting in a circle and “playing school” or an early summer lemonade stand, still in the works, or pleasant evening walks into town, which is not only four leisurely blocks away.
In many ways our new house is less curated, less manicured, less "fixed up" than our last one, but it feels more like home. There's something about an old house with quirks that instantly wins my heart. When Ben hung up a clothes line for me that runs from directly next to our washing machine to the garage, I was as happy as one of those women in the diamond ring commercials. I think it's the most beautiful thing in the world and I could stare at it all day long.
Josephine babbles and loves chewing on things and reigns as the central attraction of the house. She came with me on a silent retreat this past weekend. I truly appreciated the space for thought and prayer, the chance to simply listen without speaking, and the opportunity for starting anew that such a retreat affords. Somehow, it felt very timely. And I think that as the only baby in a retreat with thirty women, largely mothers, Josephine scored pretty big herself.
Of course by the third day of the retreat I was dying to get home to the kids, and as I pulled up to this house bursting at the seems with life, Ben proudly displaying the tomato plants he got in the ground while I was gone, the twins laughing as they tackled me on the bed, and Zosia looking so so grown up, I felt like I was coming home.
And if my heart wasn't already full enough, Hugo got a pet green anole he quickly named "Chris" for his birthday on Tuesday. I'm pretty sure I once promised myself I would never own a reptile. But now I guess we're.... reptile enthusiasts? Not sure how I feel about that one yet. Welcome to the family, little guy.