A couple months ago my dad was set on selling our house and moving me and my family out of the childhood home I grew up in. Throughout all of my 18 years, I never considered the possibility of having to say goodbye to the chocolate frosting splatter on the ceiling in the kitchen, the rocking chair on the front porch, or the dented laundry room door handle. It scared me more than I can say. Although I am leaving for college in a few months, how could I leave, knowing I would come back for holidays and summer vacations to a house who’s rooms and doors I couldn’t navigate in the dark.
They always say it’s not a house that makes a home, but the people who make it a home. For me, however, it’s about the people AND the house. My house is my home. I know someday my parents might want to move, but I can’t imagine what my life would be without knowing exactly where each Christmas decoration gets put up and where to step over the creak in the floorboards when you wake up in the middle of the night to get water. How would the next people who live here know to push in the shower handle before turning it otherwise it won’t work. To jiggle the toilet handle unless you wanted to hear it running for hours after flushing. Those pieces of knowledge don’t belong to anyone else. Those pieces of knowledge make my house my home. Because I’ve lived here so long I know in my heart that without my physical house, I won’t feel at home.
The thought of saying goodbye to my home made me realize that it’s not always all about the people. It’s about the Bible verses I wrote on the support beams of my not yet dry walled room when we built the house. It’s about the neon yellow tint of my current white painted bedroom walls because the previous yellow of my childhood room bleeds through the white still. It’s about the garage door that surprisingly still works even after my sister backed into it with her car. It’s about my two older sisters’ rooms that are empty because they moved out, but when I go into them, I can still feel the residue of the “sister sleepovers” and late night giggle sessions. For now, I’m thankfully still living in my childhood home, and the threat of losing it taught me that my home IS where my house is.