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.
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.