My mom’s parents had been married for six years before they had their first house. They actually built it themselves. It only had four rooms, but they managed to raise my mom and my two aunts there. How my grandpa survived with four women in the house and a single bathroom…
My dad’s parents purchased their first home – a two-flat on the south side of Chicago – after my dad was grown and in the army. When he came back and got married to my mom, that was their first home together too. My parents lived upstairs and my grandparents down below.
The first house I remember was in Schaumburg. It had three bedrooms and a single car garage. My dad was “upwardly mobile” in the seventies and we moved through a succession of homes, each bigger than the last. The final house we had all together was a four bedroom split level with a two car garage and good sized basement.
Meka and I lived with my mom in a townhouse when we first got married. It seemed like a tight squeeze for the three of us plus Daniel (when he came along). Every weekend, we’d look at the houses for sale. The suburbs were too expensive, so we looked out farther and farther until we came across Belvidere. We saved our money and finally put a down payment on our first house.
If I had to describe our house, I’d call it “cozy”. Some might call it small. It’s the second smallest model available in our subdivision. However, that’s a relative measurement. Our first house is about the same size – square footage wise – as my parents’ last house together. It rivals my grandparents’ two-flat and is bigger than my mom’s house she grew up in, even taking into account the addition my grandpa added later on.
Daniel and I stopped at Lowe’s the other day. He wanted to look through all the sheds and outbuildings they had for sale in the parking lot. His favorite was a tall red barn. It covered an area larger than our two-car garage. It had a long workbench and plenty of shelf space. At the back of the barn was an L shaped stairway leading to the second floor. The area upstairs was about the size of our master bedroom. Daniel led me by the hand, showing me all of the accoutrements: the vents, the windows, the skylights.
He finished, “Wouldn’t this be the perfect clubhouse for me?”
I didn’t say anything. I just smiled; thinking about what Daniel’s first home will look like.