At least we have a roof over our heads.
I repeated this daily while looking around what appeared to me to be a shack. A barely standing duplex that we lived in, decorated nicely, and loosely called home.
To the naked eye is was quaint. Its pale yellow siding and dark wood deck welcoming guests from the side into an open concept floor plan. The pale laminate throughout warmed with a brown area rug, a proud purchase at the time but left behind in the move for fear of bringing mold or dust mites with us.
A closer inspection would reveal holes along the baseboards, ant and mouse traps under cabinets, and hours spent putting up new weather-stripping on a house we didn’t own.
We promised each other we would move, we would buy a house.
The move would come sooner than we thought.
There was mold. There was a lot of mold. We discussed the situation with our landlady and communicated to her that the house was making our newborn sick. We wrote her letters about the mold, the holes, the bugs, the dust, and the birds living in the eaves.
Nothing was done.
We had to move to keep our baby healthy.
I have memories of this house. The poorly constructed, mold and bug infested house.
Despite the conditions my memories are all good.
That house was were I experienced pregnancy, where I announced we were expecting a girl, where I sorted our baby’s gifts.
That house was were we chose our daughter’s nursery colours, decorated every inch with purpose, folded each tiny piece of clothing perfectly.
Weeks of my maternity leave spent filling out a hard cover pregnancy journal were spent in that house waiting for her to arrive.
I paced the floor of that house waiting for the call from the hospital to tell me it was time to induce.
That house is where we brought our baby girl home and went from two to three.
Became a family.
Although that house was a shack, we made it a home.