Whoever staged our house must have had a background in marketing. In the entryway hung a sign that read “Love grows best in little houses.” We saw that sign and an emotional connection between us and this small house began. We could feel that, indeed, love would grow for our little family in this place.
As I’m writing this at our large dining table, Dennis is assembling a puzzle on the other end of the table. Sienna and Mateo are playing together, running between their adjacent bedrooms, paying make believe, and giggling. The sound of their joyful noises makes Dennis and I look up and exchange smiles. We just commented that last Saturday morning when we wanted to watch some recorded episodes of “Rehab Addict” (the HGTV show about old houses being refurbished) we tried in vain to get the kids to play in their rooms. Today, when they could have the run of the living room, they’re happily playing by themselves. The irony is funny.
I love our cozy house. It’s charming to hear Dennis and Teo talking in the morning while I’m waking up. From the kitchen and living room, I can see the backyard and watch the kids play. Some of the sweetest conversations have occurred at our patio table while I eavesdrop through the kitchen window.
This past Sunday afternoon, after returning from church and eating lunch, we were all engaged in quiet activities in the living/dining area. Suddenly Sienna remarked, “We’re all doing something. I’m doing rainbow loom, Daddy’s working on a puzzle, Mommy is reading, and Teo is playing. It’s so much nicer than having the TV on.” I giggled. She surely has heard me voice my desire to have the TV on less.
She was right. It was delightful to all be together yet fulfilling our own needs for leisure and recreation.
As the kids get bigger, the idea of family is growing richer in my mind. It’s awesome to be in our little house where we all have space to do our own thing, but can easily transition into togetherness, communication, and spontaneous interactions between each of us and all of us.