That House


There is always a person in every group who, when reflecting upon his childhood, says, “my house was THE one that everyone always hung out in.”   Usually,  it is said in a way as to imply that the family had a quality that we should admire – warmth, openness, wealth, largess… But really, if every person who has ever said this to me really did have “that” house, there wouldn’t be enough other people left to fill it.

Nevertheless, this conversation always causes a twinge of jealousy.  It either means that they had a nice, big house – which I did not, easy-going parents – which I did not, money to spend on toys, gadgets or snacks-which I did not.  Or,  at the opposite end of the spectrum,  a fully dysfunctional family in which the parents were never home, didn’t care, or shared alcohol or other substances willingly with their teenage children.  Again, not so much.

For me, as a Mom, it would mean that I have made a comfortable home, full of whatever my children and their friends need and want.   I frequently redecorate, shop for snacks and open the door to welcome in anyone in who might want to come.  In fact, I rarely even lock the door inviting in just about anyone or anything.   It has only worked on a few occasions and I have enjoyed a house full of content children.  However, as of yet, we are not THE house everyone wants to hang out in.  This is likely due in part to the fact that one child really doesn’t like too many visitors.  She is terrified of people thinking we are weird because the other child is always having therapy.  The other child would invite over anyone who breathes, but can’t because he is always having therapy.

While it seems as though I won’t be able to alter the trajectory on “the house” thing, for some reason, our tiny hotel room the one that the boys here want to hang out in.  Max has attracted some new friends –  a few boys who also have CP and the non-disabled brothers of girls who have CP.  They seem to love Max and the odds and ends we brought with us.  The decor is purely Homewood Suites and the snacks are not nearly plentiful,  but everyday from around 4-7 pm, I get to pretend that I too am someone who has “the house.”

Maybe it doesn’t even matter that  “the house” is just “a room.” Someday, at a cocktail party, Max too will be able to boast that his was the “room” everyone always wanted to hang out in!

6 Responses so far.

  1. How lovely it must be for Max to be surrounded by new friends and for you to be able to observe this.

    I really enjoy reading your postings.

    Susie Mallett

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yes Susie – the best part has been the lovely people we are meeting! Keep reading, I so appreciate it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I always loved coming to your house when we were little!

    -sg

  4. Christie says:

    I started reading your posts just today. I am enjoying the adventure with you. I am happy to say that I think my house just may be “the house”. My son also has CP and he has TONS of friends who LOVE to visit at his (my) house. They are always excited to come here rather than invite my son to their house. I feel especially blessed. I have prayed for him to have friends all his life… boy, has God ever so answered my prayers! Keep up the posts and the hope for Max. (You may remember me from the CP Conference in STL…. we met in the airport as we were both departing.)

    • wearingcostumes says:

      Hi there – thanks so much for reading. Yes, I do remember you well and I can see us sitting just as we were in the airport looking at photos of our children. It is so very strange that you write at this time because here in Michigan, the very first person I encountered was a woman I was fortunate enough to meet all those years ago at the very same conference. We have spent this month together with our kids and it was such as fateful coincidence. How wonderful for you and your son that he has so many friends and a comfortable place to be with them. I hope his life is always full. Please keep in touch.

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