A Home is What You Make It

Monica - Ann Arbor, Michigan
Entered on October 13, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, place

A Home Is What You Make It

I believe in a home. One where the imperfections on the walls tell stories, and the floors are kissed with footprints filled with history and familiarity with each step you take.

I have lived in seven different houses in nineteen years. If you do the math, this means I spent only two to three years in each house. During each move a painting would get damaged or dishes would be lost. Amongst the chaos a part of our family did too. It was not until recently I discovered what went missing.

As I visited the homes of those who new nothing outside of their portrait covered walls and memory filled dinning rooms, I felt a void in the place I called home. I leaned the difference between a house and a home. My houses had square footage not swing sets, and great rooms not family rooms. I can not walk into a room where I took my first steps or recall a family memory by the way a room is lit.

When my father decided to build our fourth house, he promised this would be our last. It was the most beautiful house I lived in, but my room felt more likes a showroom than a bedroom. After the first year, my mother’s little touches started to appear around the house and I convinced my dad to let me paint my room a color that was not picked out by the interior designer. By the second year there was a for sale sign in the yard. The colored walls turned to beige and my mother’s touches disappeared.

I have leaned that the kind of brick you have on your house does not indicate how strong your home is, and the type of stove you cook on is not what makes a good family dinner. It is the memories inside the walls that hold them up, and the thought and care each meal is cooked with that makes them so delicious. You can buy the most expressive house or hire a pretentious builder, but you have to make a home.