Getting to know our new home

We’re homeowners again. One day we will actually have everything in the house and the boxes will be empty and I will find the boys’ winter clothes.
For now what we have is an almost entirely empty house and a rotating schedule of contractors stopping by to fix a few things here and there.
And I couldn’t be happier.
Settlement day was exhilarating for us and emotional for the man who had owned the home for 50-some years. We thought we had lost our chance at this house—the first one we toured—when it went under contract in June. But there was some problem with the other buyer’s loan. When the house came back on the market, we were ready for it.
After we signed all the papers and had the house keys in our hand, our agent said to the now-former owner, “We’re so glad that other loan fell through.”
“So am I,” he said. And I knew he meant it.
Then John and I drove to our new house. There on the kitchen counter we found a card and a bottle of wine from the owner. He signed his name and his wife’s, even though she passed away earlier this spring.
He even left us photos of the house through the years so we would have some of its history. He is such a thoughtful man.
Tonight I took the boys to the house for a picnic on the living room floor. When they got tired of eating, I asked them to help me. I didn’t really need the measurements we took, but measuring tapes are so much fun. And I want them to feel they are helping make this house theirs.
It seems to be working.
When a contractor friend who had stopped by to do some work asked Leo which was his bedroom, he proudly gave him a tour of the room he and his little brother will share. Then he counted the bedroom windows to make sure we had ordered enough Star Wars curtains.
Daniel doesn’t care about curtains. He’s just thrilled that he’s moving into a house with a water dispenser on the fridge.
It may take a bit of paint, drywall, and some lemonade spills, but one day soon this new place won’t just feel like “the new house”. It will be our very own home. And if my efforts don’t make that happen, the boys will take matters into their own hands.
How did you make your mark on your new house so it felt like your family home?

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.