Readers, it’s time again for another dose of the lovely Real Married, Esme. Esme has a new blog, called Esme Wins (read why Esme wins here) and it’s a corker of a read, as is all her excellent writing. I command you to get over to it, now, and bookmark as though your life depends on it.
This month, Esme talks a bit more about the concept of home, and why we feel we need one. Would we want one, pine for one, if we’d never had a fixed abode growing up? Is home an address, or something more? Esme wants to start that conversation, and here’s the place to have it. Over to you, Esme:
Last month I talked about how Tom and I lost the opportunity to buy our first home. After I’d written it, I realised that I felt as though we really had lost our home – we couldn’t buy our dream and we had fallen out of love with our rental home, which up until then had seemed so perfect. So I thought I should talk a bit more about the idea of home.
When someone asks me ‘where are you from?’, it’s a bit difficult to answer. This is a typical conversation:
Stranger: Are you from here?
Me: No. My husband and I moved here from Cambridge for his job.
S: So you’re from Cambridge?
M: No. I grew up near Cambridge.
S: Oh ok. I love Cambridge! Were you born there?
M: No, I was born in (proper Northern town).
S: Oh I’ve been there! You must have loved it.
M: Well I moved when I was three…
S: Oh, to Cambridge?
M: Not exactly…
You get the picture. Throw into the mix the fact that when I left home to go to university my Mum and siblings moved across the country from where I’d been at school and you can see that there why I don’t have an answer, and people who ask about my origins start to regret it pretty quickly.
But I NEVER felt that I didn’t have a home growing up. My parents divorced when I was a teenager, but it was definitely for the best and I celebrated the idea that I had two homes to choose from. My family is pretty close and we bought into the ‘wherever we lay our (metaphorical) hat, that’s our home’ philosophy. My aunt (and un-godly Mother and general fantastically inspirational woman) commented a few years ago that her house had been the only constant house throughout my life and I realised how lucky I was to have experienced many different homes over my lifetime. I had had lots of homes, all of them filled with love and life and family.
And then I became a wife. One of the reasons we decided to get married was because we wanted to make a new family (and no, that is not a pregnancy announcement – two people can be a family, can’t they?) and take the elements from both of our upbringing to create something new. Tom has pretty much lived in the same house all of his life and had so many memories and photographs of the same place, the same garden, the same village and I suppose that I kind of fell for that ideal. Never mind the fact that it had never bothered me before, I wanted a family home for our new family.
You know what happened next, so I won’t repeat myself. What you don’t know is what my (sometimes) very wise husband asked me a couple of days after my last post went up – ‘why do you think that you feel you need a home?’. Such a good question and one to which I don’t know the answer. All I can say is that I feel like it’s part of my duty as a wife to make a home, whilst I also know that it’s completely ridiculous because I already have all the home I need in my marriage.
So now I am curious – what does home mean to you lovely AOW readers? Am I alone in feeling that I have a duty as a wife to make a home for my family? I’d love to get the discussion going on this topic.