Anyone else ever walk down the street and think about what it would be like to live in each of the houses? Or who you’d have to be, what you’d have to be doing with your life in order to make that happen? It’s kind of been a constant obsession of mine as long as I can remember. When I was younger I thought the pinnacle of life – the absolute biggest and best thing you could ever want to achieve – was to own a house. To have that stability, that warm hearth, that mailing address…for always. So, I worked my ass off and bought a house when I was seventeen years old. And sometimes I still can’t believe I did that. It is slightly bad-ass. Of course, it didn’t end the way I would have thought then! Back then I thought I would live out the rest of my life there and be happy and healthy and just…set for life. I felt like I had paid my dues, the way I had grown up, and from there I could just sail.
I’ve grown up to realize that there is no magic age where you are suddenly set. There will always be health issues (or scares), negotiations, heartbreak, learning, messes, cleaning and clearing. But there are all those good moments in between. The other night my son and I were walking home from dinner at a friend’s house in the neighborhood. It started to rain and we had exactly one toddler umbrella between the two of us. So I scooped up my wee one and he held the umbrella over our heads as made our way home. It was a pretty magical strolling slowly past all those houses we could have lived in if only we lived different lives. Just holding my kid close and thinking of the path I walked to get to have him in my life. We got to our one and only home, climbed into our beds and slept so deeply.