I've always said that when we start looking for our forever home, the yard would be more important than the house. For one thing, I'm desperate for gardens, but more importantly, I figure if we can spend 95% of our time outside, we won't need a huge house.
I still wholeheartedly believe this, although I must admit that I'm completely smitten with our quaint late-1800's house. The house itself is beautiful, bright, and airy inside. But it is small, there's no denying it. Especially our "master" bedroom, which is actually a first-floor study. The actual master is a decently sized room upstairs that we'll split into two rooms in order for our oldest daughter and only son to have their own rooms. Our middle and youngest girls will share the other second floor room. I'd be lying if I didn't say that I've been worrying about that tiny room. It doesn't have a closet, and will just barely have walking space once our king size bed is in there. Between my husband, myself, and our two beloved dogs, downsizing the bed is not an option. So, I've secretly worried that my husband will grow frustrated with the lack of space. I've second-guessed all of his ideas for storage in the itty bitty space between bed and wall. I've sat up at night wondering if it might be possible to bump out the wall, one day far (far) down the road. I've wondered and worried about his comfort and convenience when we move out of our spacious current bedroom and into this much smaller space. I have asked myself if this house is really only for my happiness, and if it will make my family equally as happy.
The other night, my questions were answered. My 10 year old daughter asked how we will be able to fit our bed into our new room. Without hesitation, my husband emphatically answered that he would live in the tiniest space in order for me to not have to navigate stairs anymore. He answered so quickly, and with such obvious love behind his words, there was no more room for doubt. The size of the room could never outweigh the size of his love for me. My daughter agreed, without a second thought, to carry laundry down the stairs so that I wouldn't have to fetch it.
My mind and heart have been set at ease. This homesteading idea seems to be growing on everyone. The idea of downsizing, owning less and doing more, spending more time out of doors than in, isn't as traumatic for them as I'd feared. The size of our house doesn't affect the size of our home, because home is wherever my family is. Whether we're outside enjoying our new yard, or cuddled up in our cozy new rooms, we will be home. And for all their flaws and bad behaviors that sometimes make me want to pull my hair out, my family does love me enough to do this, not for me, but with me. Together we will make this house our home.
Yet, until the other night, I let my doubts cloud what I already knew- that a smallish house wouldn't matter. I let the voice in my head tell me that I was selfish and unworthy of asking my family to make this change. In reality, I didn't even need to ask them. I need this change, my body physically needs it. My joints simply cannot handle the stairs in our current house, even with the medications I take to try to slow their deterioration. My family sees this. I'm past the point of being able to hide my physical pain all of the time now. I can't move as quickly, or smoothly, as I used to. As much as I think I'm hiding the smaller pains, they still see. They see me. They notice, because they care enough to pay attention, even when I convince myself that I'm not worth noticing. Even when I tell myself that my own needs should come after everyone else's, they manage to put me first. Without resentment, without bitterness. So today I'm telling my anxiety to quiet down, and I'm listening to what my family has been trying to tell me- and that is this: If love is what makes a house a home, we're going to do just fine.
Originally published on my blog littlebhomestead.wordpress.com