So the question posed today is: When did you first realize that your home was different?
Well, I'm not so sure I really ever did.
All the way through my childhood and even through high school, I was pretty oblivious to the world around me. I was not a kid that got invited to things, so I never really spent much time at other people's houses. Thinking back I remember only a single time I went to a sleep over. I remember going to one birthday party in middle school and one party in high school. I never went to a sleep away camp or on a mission trip. My first real amount of time away from home was college.
As my "adult" years have unwound, there have been plenty of times however, where I've realized my home is very different.
In the start of my adult and married life, my home was different because we had more bills to pay than our friends. That was because most of our friends were couples where both people having degrees and higher paying professional careers. I never finished and worked jobs with lower payouts. Plus I went back to school.
Probably the next time I realized things were different was after I had kids. I was more lax about house keeping and organization than my friends. They were into decorating and having their houses look a certain way. I was more into cheap and kid friendly.
The next round was when we started trying to work with Autism in our lives through what went into our mouths and our environment. We got real careful about what we put on our plates and on our skin. My friends were going green and healthy but in a completely different angle.
Then we became foster parents and really had no friends besides my sister-in-laws amazing family, doing what we did. Again, we were different. Who has a family that sometimes has 2 kids, then 5, then 3, then 2 again? At the time we didn't know other families that were multi-color.
Our home is still different. In a way, we are always in a state of revolving door. In the last year, November to November, there have been 6 moves in and out of our house. Some of those ins and outs overlapped each other.
Our home is loud. It's messy. It's full. Full of stuff and people and noises and smells. It's warm. (I don't like cold.) I hope it's welcoming, even if you have to step over a matchbox car or a dog or small kid. I hope it's generous and giving of our stuff and time and attention. I hope it's bursting to overflowing with love, even when there are raised voices or sharp words in between music and dogs and games and kids.
Our home has love, and love hopes.