Making Memories … What Buying a House in New Orleans Means to Me
There are many reasons people buy a house. Shelter is one; investment is another. Back in March, when my husband and I bought our first home in Lakeview, we were happy to finally settle down between these walls, under that roof, and to give our girls a chance to grow up in such a lovely family-friendly community.
Moving is exhausting
But three days ago, as I stood in front of the plastic sheet taped up to the dining room, hallway, foyer, and two bedrooms upstairs, I couldn’t help but feel a little out of hope and tired. We have had construction now for five weeks … three weeks over what was expected due to some delays. Many naps were missed because of the noise; we had no privacy because the four of us had to share a bedroom, and the thick, white dust covering all the surfaces and floors made me sick. I didn’t realize how draining it all would be. Staying at home with my toddler and baby, our whole schedule was thrown off, and I started hating being in my new house. I couldn’t take the clutter, the smells, and the mess. And the unopened boxes … they were everywhere. The task of getting all our things in order seemed so daunting!
The red door
My two-year-old daughter changed my mind. We were walking back from the park across the street. As I pulled the stroller with the baby, I said “let’s go home.” My daughter smiled, pointed to our house and said “there, red door!” It really hit home (pun intended). She knew it was her house!
It will take time to open all these boxes and to even furnish the place. It will take sweat to get outside (especially now!) to cut the grass, plant trees, treat for pests and weed the garden. It will take dedication to keep the closets organized and the clothes clean and ironed. I guess that’s what most people refer to when they talk about “adulting.” I don’t feel silly or ridiculous because I feel overwhelmed at this point in my life. I was mostly prepared to be a homeowner in New Orleans (hello flood insurance and termite contracts!), but I wasn’t ready for the emotions which have come with finally being home.
That’s it. I can sit in my living room and picture our stockings hanging from the chimney during the holiday season. I can imagine going to the park across the street with our bikes. I can see baths in the little blue tub upstairs and can already hear the laughter of my two girls splashing water. I can even smell crêpes in the kitchen and picture all our faces covered with sticky jam. And all the games we’ll play. Right here, in this house, in Lakeview, in New Orleans.