This is a story about raising a child as if you were building a house.


Buying the lot was a commitment.  Once we owned it, we dreamed about what we would build.   

lot2  lot4


h5For many years, we constructed a house. We used the best selling book as a guide.  We laid a firm foundation, then piece by piece we placed the beams to support each area and room. It was fun to build the building and watch it take form. With each phase of construction, we invested more time and money, effort and emotion as we grew more and more involved in what the end product would be like. We sacrificed other things as we concentrated on the house.  It was hard work and exhausting at times.

h6The floor plan was well designed and flowed. We used only the best materials we could afford as we watched it take shape. Each door and each window was carefully placed.  Each angle was thought through.

During construction, we ensured the property was safe from those who might h8steal from or damage it.  We made some mistakes along the way but we fixed them as we recognized them.



When it was completed,  we landscaped it and even furnished part of it.


And then it was time to sell it.


h13Fair or not, the house itself chose who would live in it.  It was hard to see it go, to sit back and watch someone else paint over the colors you carefully selected.


You see it change and hear as the house proudly touts its features as if it had built itself.


With any luck, you will still be able to visit it, but you have no say in how it is treated, how it is decorated or even how it might be remodeled.   And sometimes it happens that you’re not allowed to comment on it.  It may need repairs as the world weathers it, but you must refrain from pointing out what the new owner may miss.  If the roof leaks, you hope it is patched. If the foundation falters, you pray someone will level it straight again.  But you can no longer inspect it, make repairs or suggest how to fix it. 

You still love the house and the fond memories of building it.  You hope it will stand the test of time, remain firm on its foundation, realize its value and maintain its character.  Love, faith, and hope – those have to be enough, when a child becomes an adult.       


About Climbing Downhill

Wife and mother of grown kids, in my 60's and dealing with MS, making life's moments count and trying to offer something of value to others along the way.
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13 Responses to House

  1. JN says:

    Whenever I get the notice you’ve posted another article, I stop what I’m doing and hurry to read it. You have such wonderful insight and create great images with your storytelling. Love it! Thanks for sharing your gift.

  2. Rob says:

    My Wife and I built a house back in 2001. We ended up selling it so I know how you feel. All the effort and someone else does what the want. I did really enjoy building though.
    Keep writing it’s good. Thanks

  3. Actually, I’ve never built a house. I wrote this as a story about raising children. Obviously, it wasn’t effective to flip the meaning abruptly in the last sentence; so I have added an introductory sentence and hope it will be clear to readers who follow..

  4. myoddsock1845 says:

    Tremendous post! Seems like a long process, but it goes by in the blink of an eye. I struggle with the fact of letting go…what will the future bring…changes to relationships, ect.
    Frightened to death really.
    Hopefully, time will settle my mixed emotions.

  5. Elisa Ruland says:

    I like your analogy here, although I admit I had to read it twice and noticed your side note and top, and of course your conclusion. You’re a thought provoking writer, and a good one, and I enjoyed your thoughts on “raising a house.” Take care!

  6. Cindy S. says:

    I had a twinge while reading. I’m sure you know why. We both know things never stay the same …it’s their time to fly. Very hard to watch from a distance – that house, but so glad we made the effort to build it. …Take heart, your houses are all solid. 🙂

  7. Pat Edmonds says:

    I’ve done both, built houses and made my best efforts to build 3 boys into 3 men I would want to hang out with, depend upon, and recommend to others. Your analogy is apropos and easily relatable. Parenting adult children, just like preserving and protecting an older home, requires great patience, a higher level of skill, and a willingness to compromise and revise the grandest of plans and intentions.

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