I recently sold a property to a very young and excited couple who were purchasing for the first time. Giving them the keys after settlement made me a little melancholy. Did they really understand what was ahead for them? Could they really appreciate the scope of what was about to happen? And let's face it - this was more than just a purchase. It was the beginning of their lives together as a family.
As Realtors, we oftentimes live vicariously through our clients lives. When I was watching them go through the home for their final walk-through inspection prior to signing papers, my mind was brought back to my own first home. I didn't see it as a "property" or "investment" when my husband and I bought it. It was where we were going to raise our family. Watching them run the dishwasher and open and close windows and doors, I was transported to another place and time.
I could distinctly hear my very young daughter at the age of two tell me she was afraid to sleep alone and could she please sleep with me. I could feel her creep into my bed in the middle of the night and almost feel the heavy heart I had some 22 years ago when I had to gently take her back to her "big girl" bed to sleep on her own.
I saw my 10 month old son running up our front yard dribbling a soccer ball - yes, you read it correctly. He was quite advanced. At 18 months he would throw baseballs to our Labrador mix, Lady, who obediently fetched every single one he threw - no matter where it landed. I heard his very high pitched voice telling her "GOOD WADY!" and I could clearly see her wagging her tail in eager anticipation of the next throw.
I heard the laughter of my 6 month old daughter as she opened her very first Christmas presents. Little did anyone in my home know that Daddy had to work the midnight shift on Christmas Day so we celebrated two days later so we could all be together. I remember it well.
I remember my father sitting in my kitchen drinking coffee waiting to enjoy Christmas at home with my family for the first and last time. I remember the joy in his face when we went to Mass and my children were so well behaved. I remember coming home and making a huge feast that filled our bellies and our souls.
I remember the heartache coming home from the hospital after I miscarried...my dog, Lady, keeping vigil by my side as I wept. But I also remember the enormous joy watching my children play and swim during those hot summer days in a little plastic pool in our less than manicured backyard. I remember the time PopPop nearly fell in that little pool when my son squirted him accidentally with the garden hose and the hysterical laughter that followed!
I remember the dinners burned, the boo boos kissed, the late nights walking the long family room in our basement with a sick child, the Halloween costumes made by hand, the Easters hunting eggs, the many Happy Birthdays sung, the music played and dances danced, games played and lessons learned, the bedtime prayers and the I love yous that were always said.
I remember......and I'll never forget - any of it.
I pray that every young couple entering their first home can sit down and appreciate the "moments" that make up a lifetime. They are what make life worth living - those moments. Not the furniture that fills the room or the cars parked in your driveway. It's the moments between the ones you love - in your FIRST HOME! Your FIRST LOVE!