I was all of eighteen years old the first time I moved out of my house, headed for the big city and an apartment of my own. I held three jobs and went to school. Many mornings I'd get an iced cappuccino from the diner by the el and many nights I'd have a pb&j sandwich with day old bread from the bakery around the corner. The same posters hung on my walls, same thrift shop clothes hung in my closet. But it never was home.
By the next year my dad was parked behind that apartment, with the sticky balcony rails to ward off pigeons. We loaded up my belongings and that little girl bundled inside my big-girl-self. I was going home, headed down Lake Shore Drive, back to Indiana. On our way- with as much love as sternness in his eyes- he said Next time I move your things, it's for good.
And the next time was. A few years later I was coming home from my honeymoon to a brand new house, shingles and carpet color chosen by me. Years later this house had those same shingles but new carpet. And along with the additional "artwork" courtesy of Crayola, the walls now tell stories of babies and heartache and joy and first days of school.
To three little boys and another child on the way, this is home. Someday a truck with their things might head off to the unknown, pieces of my heart along with it, and they will always be welcome to come back, for at least one more try.
We've filled it to the brim, some would say about our little dwelling.
I say, what a great use of space.
It may be small, but it's plenty. And it's home.
Originally posted April 4, 2008
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