Friday, August 13, 2010

The House That Built Me

Today is my wonderful Dad's birthday! I am truly blessed to have the most wonderful father in the entire world. His example of what it is like to be a kind, compassionate, honest person is something I cherish every single day of my life. Not to mention the man is freaking hilarious and he is constantly making me laugh! His sense of humor is unlike anyone else's and he has the unique ability to laugh at the ridiculous and life and I like to think he passed that trait on to me J Happy Birthday Dad!! You are, have been and will always be my hero!

Last weekend I heard the song by Miranda Lambert called the House that Built Me and it really resonated with me. Having grown up in the house that my mother and father built over 30 years ago, I have a deep love and connection to my childhood home. My mom and dad joke about the things that are starting to show some wear and tear on the house but I can't help but feel a deep fondness to these little annoyances, not because I love annoyances (believe me I don't…I HATE to be annoyed) but because they remind me of the wonderful happy years I was privileged enough to grow up in such a home. Notice I said home…you see as I've grown older, I have really started to learn the value of a home versus a house. My parents built a beautiful house but more importantly they built a precious home for me and my sister. When I look back on my childhood I am reminded of how rare it really is in this day and time to have a home that was so filled with love.

So if I were to write the song, I would replace the word House with Home because I realize now that it was a home and the people that were in that home that made me who I am today. As I thought about this, I could connect every room with a defining moment in my life.

My Bedroom: The scene of many a back scratch and comforting moment; naps with my sister on Sunday afternoons and long talks with my sweet mother before I went to bed at night; the goodbye kiss my dad would come in and give me every single early morning that he was going out and working so hard to support his little family of four. In that bedroom I learned the value of telling each other that they are important and loved every single day of your life.

My Sister's Bedroom: The scene of many moments of hilarity and laughter and of sharing. Even when I was so little and would terrorize her prized Strawberry Shortcake House and its inhabitants, she was always so willing to share her things with me. I learned then that material things are material things and the act of sharing is an outward act of love and trust.

My Parents Bedroom: Always an open door and we were never turned away. Some of my favorite memories take place in their bedroom. Somehow we would all end up there at the end of the night talking and laughing and carrying on. Their bedroom was a place of solace for me and I still love to go nap there. It reminds me of being surrounded by everything you love in the world and being totally at peace. I pray I can make our bedroom like that for our children someday.

The Kitchen: Oh the kitchen. My favorite place. It reminds me of my mother's commitment to making sure we were fed not only physical food but emotional and spiritual food. We ate dinner as a family every night together and prayed together as a family in our kitchen. It is where we would greet our dad after a long day's work. The kitchen was an all purpose room. We were punished in the kitchen, we were praised in the kitchen, we were comforted in the kitchen and we were taught in the kitchen. The kitchen to me signifies the importance of a family unit and the bond that exists between people who loved you before they even knew you.

The Music Room: All I can say is patience. Patience listening to a young child try over and over again and messing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" up more times than she got it right; patience for sitting with her for hours while she tried desperately to read music; patience for driving back and forth, week after week, year after year to the lessons . I learned that Patience is not only a virtue but it is a gift we all deserve to give each other.

The Den: This is where we relaxed with each other and let the day slip away from us. This room taught me how to just "be" with the people you care about and that sometimes your presence is the only thing that matters.

I am grateful every single day for my home. I am grateful that I was given such loving, supportive parents that fought for my childhood and helped me grow into the adult that I am. I'm grateful for their parents that did the very same thing for them and it is my sincere prayer that I continue this pattern in my home because at the end of the day, a house is just four walls but the people who breathe life into it make it a home.

Happy Birthday Daddy!!! And thank you for the home that built me!



Excuse me, I have to go buy some more tissue.

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