Wrapped in Brown Paper
As a person who is likely soon to be homeless, I am extra cheeseball lately about the general concept. But it's one of those words, isn't it? You'll find it in the dictionary, properly and succinctly described in a meagre sentence or two: home. A four letter word to encapsulate mountains of human emotion. But you get it. We all get it. Even a 6 year old and a 2 year old get it. Home is just home. And it defies description.
I needed a project to get me away from the computer screen so I don't end up despising my own novel and, in some freudian fit, I fixed on building a cardboard dollhouse for my little girlies. It's not fancy or perfect, although surprisingly structurally sound. I literally used garbage bin cardboard, scrapbooking scraps and a whole lot of glue, all wrapped up in brown paper. But you'd think I'd invented ice cream, the way the beetles oohed and aahed.
Dolly and the Bean came over with a backpack filled to the zipper with dolls and figurines. And they played. For hours. And I spent hours just watching them roll up dishcloths to make couches and beds and assign all the disney princesses bedrooms.
I wished for a moment that I had spent more time on the details. That I'd added a crystal chandelier and straw in the stable and some furniture. I wished that I'd at least taken the time to peel away all the webby strings of glue left by the darn glue gun. But it didn't matter much. What Dolly and the Bean saw at once was the possibility for happiness, not the gaping seams where I didn't measure the cardboard accurately.
I thought of all the crapholes I've lived in over the years and how much I loved each one. Not for the absence of cockroaches or pot-smoking neighbors, because I got plenty of those - and dang it if I haven't had a toilet that flushed properly in over two years - but for the sheer number of possibilities that a home provides.
Home is the physical embodiment of faith, care and ingenuity. It doesn't actually come all done up in brown paper - or vinyl siding - like a slice of plastic perfection. Home is never contained and limited by cheap wrappings or credit consuming upgrades. It's not expensive, it's expansive. So I won't worry too much about what dungeon I will be living in next (I have a strict 'dungeon only' budget). My life has never been very cosmetic. And you can forget this en suite, hardwood, granite counter top, keeping-up-with-the-joneses nonsense that has everyone's heads and bank accounts spinning. If that's all a home was, it could be adequately described in the dictionary after all.
Love, security, peace, hope. What's more valuable than that?
Although, a home really should include little fingers and ponytails if you can possibly manage it.