HOUSE: a noun – a building for human habitation.
HOME: a noun – The place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household…a place where something flourishes.
FLOURISH: a verb – to grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment.
We have a pillow in the store that says, “Less House more Home.”
I think we all have that common denominator of ultimately wanting to create that ‘favorable environment’ so that those we love can flourish. We set out in our early beginnings of “Homemaking” to see our happily ever after coming to fruition only to see it play out very differently than what we ultimately envisioned. Sometimes for the better and other times a ‘less than’ result. I knew what I wanted from life at a very young age. I wanted to be a wife and mother. I wanted a home and a family. I would be June Cleaver (If you were born after 1960 google the sitcom “Leave it to Beaver”) and I would have a sparkling home. I would wear pearls and pumps and have children who were happy and clean and they would say things like “Golly gee.”
John Lennon coined a phrase by Allen Saunders in Lennon’s song Beautiful Boy,
‘Life is what happens while we are busy planning other things.’
Life did happen and as our years went on we grew into a blended family with five kids. Our favorite sitcom was Cheers (Google that too). Cheers was a local pub full of lovable characters. Carla was the barmaid, a single mother of five and when asked to describe her family she said,
“You know the Brady Bunch? Picture them with knives.”
There were seasons in my life, sometimes years long seasons, where this was much more my reality. Nobody told me about sibling rivalry when they were describing their 26-hour labor and delivery tales and giving out their unsolicited parenting advice. Nobody told me raising a family and having a home would be the hardest thing I would ever do. I remember standing in my kitchen amid broken chards of something dear to me, ugly crying and wailing
“I will never have nice things!”
I have only on the rarest occasions worn pumps and I do not own a string of pearls. My Brady Bunch is all grown up and they may still have knives and Brent and I are nothing but blessed by each and every one of them. Family is a complicated, heart wrenching beautiful mess that is an ever-evolving source of unlimited joy. Homes are the easy part. Nice things come and go. I can’t even remember what the broken thing was that inspired my melt-down that day. We can easily breathe new life into our spaces with simple changes like paint or fresh flowers or maybe bigger purchases like furniture with cute pillows that say,
“Less House More Home.”
If I could do it all again I would want to ‘laugh more and cry less’ (ooh that might be cute on a pillow!) especially over stupid things like broken knick-knacks and stains. Stains can be removed…. well not all of them. Those stubborn ones we learned to call “memories” along with the chew marks one dog left on the brand-new dining room table leg.