I apologize if I’ve used that post title before, but it fits here (and it’s all I can come up with until my caffeine kicks in).
I had a funny feeling the other night. I was climbing the stairs to help Alex get ready for bed when I had the feeling I’d been there before. Not just the “oh geez, here we go again” feeling, but “this is starting to feel like home to me” feeling. I’ve walked up the stairs a few times now and I know where they’re creakiest and how it feels to pull myself up the steps by the railings. (I used to think railings on both sides was ridiculous; after yesterday, I’m grateful they’re there.) I know how to walk so as to make the least amount of noise. When I get to the top of the stairs, I know where things are.
Granted, I’d take a bet that in 5 years, where things are now is not where they’ll be then. We’re still fitting in, trying to find a system that works. I don’t remember how long it took, when we moved into the condo, that it started to feel like home. I think we lived among boxes for months. My plan had been to empty one box per night, but that was before we could work remote. Eventually it all settled out; some things stayed in boxes, some boxes got emptied, and some got thrown out. It took a while before it was “what we’re accustomed to”.
Yesterday, the boys had a school district half day and I spent a good portion of the afternoon emptying out boxes and straightening things up. Until then, sitting at the dining room table, using my laptop, I started feeling closed in by the mountains of boxes behind me, so that’s where I started. Now it’s a lot better; two people can walk, side by side, through the main path in the dining room, and you can even walk around the dining room table and not make contact with anything. We couldn’t say that on Monday afternoon.
It snowed yesterday, starting out as sleet but switching over to fat-flaked snow by the time we left the supermarket. I knew how bad my parking space in the back was torn up (four inches of mud meets 4K pounds of car; my tires look like I went off-roading in a swamp) so I parked in front instead. When it looked like things might get icy, I put on my sneakers and jacket and went to sweep up the walks. (I did our neighbors’ walk too; they’re older and it seemed like the right thing to do.) The boys saw me and put on their sneakers and jackets and went outside for a snowball fight. Because now they can. Back in the condo, there was room in the “back yard” but it was public space. Now they have their own yard, and then ran all over it, throwing wet snow at each other. I took pictures as I soaked in the atmosphere of feeling like I belong somewhere.
It’s starting to feel like home.