Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Wanted: A Strong Home

"What's it made out of?" Lorelei and Ben wanted to know.

They were talking about the new house we're moving into in a few weeks.  We finally broke the news to them, our two oldest children, that we are moving.  (Our youngest, almost 3, has been there a few times but didn't realize what was going on.)  We're not going very far--just 10 miles or so down the road, closer to their school and my husband's office.  

But their question is a good one, so when we got to the house--which we don't own yet, so we just drove up to the front like friendly stalkers on a sunny day--I pointed out that the house is made of brick.  It's a strong material, one that is resistant to damage dealt by almost anything Mother Nature might throw at us, I explained.  I said to them, "This is a strong, sturdy house.  We can weather anything in this house."

In deciding where to move, Jonathan and I weighed each item on our long wish list carefully, and we found a house that felt good in our hearts and made sense to our heads.  Its location would decrease commute time to his work and their school.  Its layout would let him work from home more frequently.  I could have my own bright office to write in.  (!!!)  Lorelei would not have to share a bathroom with her brothers.  The house felt like it could be Home, both inside and out.

We had not really considered what the house was made out of, so I was a little surprised by my kids' question.  Their curiosity would make a whole lot more sense if we lived in the middle of America, in tornado alley, where a basement is a good idea for safety reasons.  Or if we lived in the South or the Caribbean where hurricanes rip through and rip off roofs.

Nope.  We just live in Northern Virginia.  

But, to be honest, the intangible item on our wish list was: a place to start over.  The past few years have been difficult ones in our marriage.  I mean, tougher than tough, darker than dark, harder than hard.  Maybe it seems like I'm exaggerating, and as I look back at that sentence I realize that some couples go through tragedies much worse than the inevitable struggles of marriage and the added difficulties we created for ourselves.  But this is what I know, and I'm glad that time is behind us, and we did, in fact, weather it all, together--maybe not with flying colors, butwe did it, and we stayed together.  We've spent hours and hours talking about and working through issues that threaten to pull us down and break up our home.  

It's tougher than I ever expected, this marriage stuff.

So I look at our new house and I wonder, too, "Will we be safe here?  Will we be stronger here?" I realize my own question is very similar to my kids' question.  

My fingers are crossed--and my toes, too--that the answer is a resounding yes.


  1. Sometimes, that is just what a marriage and a family need - a new place to create new memories and start over again. Good luck!

  2. Yes . . . good luck! Fresh start, new house may all the "crap" be behind you now ;-)

  3. "What's it made of?" That is a great analogy for the home and the marriage ... good luck!

  4. I love starting new adventures and I am a little envious of your new move. Once you move you don't look back(unless you keep the old house,I don't recommend it!!), once you move in you will only look forward. It's going to be great, a whole new canvas to paint anything you want on to it. Have fun!!

  5. I never put much thought into the intangibles of where I lived until my son was born! Now, I pay attention to the physicality and feeling. I love how you took a seemingly superficial topic and added depth to it :-)

  6. Many marriages are not tested and cannot weather the first storm. You both have faced a lot and come through together. You and your marriage are much stronger for it. Choosing a new home sounds wonderful! May it be filled with love and blessings.