Sunday, July 09, 2006

White picket fence

I painted the fence today! All by myself. I am not so handy but I decided I was tired of driving into the driveway thinking "Ugh. That fence needs to be painted." I started trying to paint the fence by hand. After an afternoon of that I convinced my husband I needed a paint sprayer. Today I was able to paint in ten minutes what had taken me over two hours by hand. The noisy paint sprayer didn't give me as much time to ponder, though. Here's what was going through my head (besides "I am never going to finish this") while I painted not-so-merrily away with the paintbrush a few days ago.....

When we bought our home I saw the white picket fence and laughed. How corny. What a cliche! "The fence will need to go," I thought to myself. "Maybe not right away, but it's soooooo not me." I loved everything about this house except that silly fence. The white picket fence seemed to represent to me some outmoded idea of the ideal American family, a sort of cutesy Leave It to Beaver-ish symbol. As a blended homeschooling family with five children, one with a disability, a tattooed mama and a work-at-home dad, we don't seem to quite fit that stereotype. At least not the one in my head.

Gradually this house has become familiar. Finding the light switches is automatic, we've filled the empty spaces, we brought a baby home to this house, we know what day to take out the trash, we've celebrated holidays and played in the back yard.....and this house became our home. Our family has blossomed. Sharing the experience of turning a new house into our home has changed us. We've meshed, become closer, blended more. Maybe we are an ideal family after all. Not because we match any kind of stereotype or because we're representative of other families, but just because we are family.

Darned if that silly fence hasn't grown on me.

So come on over. It's the white house with the white picket fence.

1 comment:

Irie said...

Lovely post, it left tears in my eyes! It's a special thing, watching a house become a home.