Monday, March 18, 2013

First House

Your grandparents and daddy took bets on how upset I'd be when I drove up and discovered that the color going up on the side of our first house was nowhere near the same shade of green as what we'd picked out.

Maybe it just looked different wet? Certainly, when it dries…? Paint does that, doesn't it?

Bottle Cap Green, that's what it was called, and no, it didn't dry any different.

I seem to remember that the tears came easily in the weeks before the painting began-- and over little things too, like caulking and blueprints and baby names--so it's no wonder that they were concerned. I was very pregnant, and they were kind, and maybe even the tiniest bit afraid of me.

But I did not cry. We all decided to roll with it because the color was only half bad, and there was still so much to be done before the house closed and the baby came.

Asher was two then. I have pictures of her in her fuzzy pink GAP hoodie and cuffed up pants. She could easily walk under the space where our completed kitchen counter soon would be. Once we finished the inside of the house, she'd spend hours coloring in that exact same spot.

As a house warming gift, Grandma Sheryl would give us kittens, and baby Eilidh would be along in just a matter of weeks.

Only a month later, we'd celebrate Christmas together, and for the first time there was room enough for all of us. It was cozy and I had no desire to be anywhere else.

The rest of the winter we cocooned in the warmth of a space that everyday, felt more like ours. I added my favorite scene from Guess How Much I Love You? to your buttercup walls and didn't even hesitate at the thought of nail holes.

When spring and summer circled around again we turned our attention back outdoors. We planted Horse Chestnut, Vanderbilt Pine, and Paper Birch.  Asher and I would regularly push baby sister in the stroller along lengths of the plant nursery bordering our property. She and I oohed and ahhed at the possibilities and eventually settled on a Red Willow bush because of the fire in its bones.

Little did we know that the "bush" would quickly dwarf our entire house.

For seven years total, we had that place before our county's unemployment rate reached almost 17 percent and we realized that we wouldn't be able to hang onto it any more.

In between that time and the first brush stroke, we added two brothers and a sister, a couple parakeets, and said goodbye to Grandpa Hal.

We painted the house again, and this time we did it right.

We made friends with our neighbors and you rode your bikes the entire length of our street.

Grandpa Bob surprised us with a swing set that he made just for you, and from then on, I would never miss the opportunity to sneak back to my bedroom window in order to watch your play and listen to your happy voices, rising upward and downward with the pumping of your legs.

It was one of my favorite things in the world.

Before we moved, Eilidh and the willow had both grown and the flame in each of them made them the perfect match for each other. She insisted on one last climb before packing up and managed to get all the way past the roof.

Likewise, Asher drew me one last kitchen counter picture: brick columns and trees, stained fence, red door, and even through tears, the perfect shade of green.

Every Monday we will gather here to share the words we want our children to hear. The format is broad and as free as your own stories. If you'd like to join us, just add your post to the Inlinkz tool below and link back here so that others can find us.

Don't forget to visit each other and makes some new friends.

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