I’ve been thinking lately of something that happened early this spring. It was still almost cold outside–early spring–and my littlest, three years old at the time, was playing outside in a sundress that was completely inappropriate for the weather. It was the “Mama, I want to wear my new dress” syndrome, and since I am old and finally recognize when not to pick a fight, I let her. So she’d been outside playing, in a 45-degree mist, wearing her red, white, and blue “firecracker dress.”
She finally came in through the back door and immediately squealed with glee. “Oooooh! Mama! It’s warm in here!”
I burst out laughing. “It is warm, isn’t it? Isn’t it nice to come in and be warm and cozy?”
I can still remember how she looked at me, her eyes shining. “It IS cozy! This is the coziest house EVER! I LOVE it! Let’s NEVER MOVE!!“
I had to laugh. After twenty-one years of marriage, I’ve learned not to make a big broad statement like “we’re never moving.” But I assured her that we’d do our best.
Last week I stumbled across a quote that finally put into words my feelings about moving; why I’m so hesitant to pack up and start over again. Yes, me, who can happily while away an afternoon looking at houses online: if I ever found The Perfect House, I still don’t think I could bring myself to act on it. It just takes so much time, is the vague notion that would float through my head. While reading Love the House You’re In, by Paige Rien, I stumbled across a little offhand comment that gave structure and definition to my haze:
It takes six months to move into a new house. You might be sleeping in your own bed the first night you arrive, but to actually move in and find a space for everything, getting your bearings in a new space–not to mention making any improvements–takes six months. It takes five years of diligent work to really make it yours–not finish it–but feel like yours.
Six months. Five years.
This, of course, doesn’t count the months of un-making your current home: removing all personal items and any source of clutter to ensure the house shows at its best for all viewings. (Oh, the showings….three kids, two dogs, and a husband working in the basement? Can you even imagine?)
So yes, beautiful girl, I am ready to say it:
This IS the coziest house EVER. Let’s NEVER MOVE.