We’re hearing echoes at R-house this week.

When I yell from the kitchen, “Has anyone seen my keys?” the words bounce off all the empty spaces where the chairs, pillows, artwork, stray shoes, unfolded laundry, piles of homework, and bits of life are nowhere to be seen.

We’re getting the floors done here, which means our living and dining areas are completely empty. Just like they were the week we moved in.

And the emptiness is causing all kinds of echoes.

The kind that take me back to the sunny October day when this sweet yellow house became R-house.

It was ten years ago, almost exactly…

I’m hearing echoes of an evening I spent painting R-girl’s new room alongside a good friend, who stopped mid-stroke, swept her watermelon-pink-tinged paintbrush through the air, and declared: “Julie! This is the house where your kids will grow up!”

She was excited. She knew this house was a blessing for us.

But deep down, I resisted.

“No!” I thought. “This is the house where my first-grade son and fifth-grade daughter will grow until they reach some unspecified age—before the moment when they’ve actually grown up.

“And at some point before they’ve actually grown up, the three of us will either move somewhere new on our continuing adventure, or we’ll combine households with a man we will all have fallen in love with, who will be equally in love with all three of us…


“But this won’t be the house where my kids grow up, that’s for sure.”

Because, basically, it was impossible to imagine that R-kids ever would grow up.

Also, my personal recollection of growing up was that it seemed to take somewhere just shy of an eternity. And I knew we wouldn’t be in R-house for an eternity.

But what I didn’t realize… is that it actually doesn’t take very many Little League seasons, and Halloween costumes, and Christmas trees, and spring breaks to suddenly reach a point where you look around and find that…you’re not entirely sure…but it’s quite possible that your kids either already are or are just about to be grown up.

So I’m savoring the echoes of days gone by that I’ve been hearing around here this week.

And I’m looking forward to making a few more.

Here’s to growing up, friends. And letting our kids do the same.



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