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.
For 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.
The 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 steal 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.
Fair 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.
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.
What a beautiful compliment – thank you JN. Your encouragement is appreciated.
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
Thank you Rob.
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..
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.
Thanks Sock, for leaving such a meaningful comment.
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!
Thank you for the compliment, Elisa. Analogies can work when its difficult to describe thoughts and feelings – subtlety, however, doesn’t work so great I discovered.
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. 🙂
Every stage of life has challenges it seems.
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.
Great comment, Pat.