I've lived in apartments all my post-adolescent life. Apartments and duplexes and triplexes. Studios and one-bedrooms and two-bedrooms with roommates and boyfriends and cousins and friends. For the past four and a half years we've been busting at the seams in a tiny-roomed duplex with peeling floors and a kitchen so small, I have to use the ironing board as a counter.
Not that it hasn't been a lovely place to live. It has been. Lovely like the place we lived when Archer was born. Lovely like every place that feels like home.
When we found out Friday that we got the house, we were elated. Burst-into-tears in public, jump-up-and-down on the phone with one another, just-won-the-lottery elated.
And not just because our names had been called.
For us, it was about so much more.
When we first started this journey - as a couple of practical strangers, six-months pregnant, walking down the aisle of the Little White Chapel - the odds were very much against us. We were broke. We were young. We were strangers. We gave it a shot anyway. Because we didn't know what else to do. Because we hoped we'd be able to pull it off. Because we were both impractical and stubborn and everyone around us thought we were crazy. They were right. But so were we.
We spent most of the past six years, struggling to make ends meet as a couple. Climbing up various ladders professionally and personally, falling off, getting back on, broken and bruised, fucking up and making up and growing up.
Hard work, that is.
And then, this year happened - a magical year - when switches flipped and all the work we were doing between day jobs started paying off. Tides turned and doors opened and life just sort of... changed. Graduation day -- like the universe giving us its blessing to exhale into a space with higher ceilings and doorknobs that don't fall off when you try to open the doors.
And a yard. A YARD!
Last night after hitting up a movie with Hal, we parked in front of our new home in our new neighborhood and watched it sit still in the darkness out windows of the same car Hal first picked me up in not six years ago -- him in his pageboy hat and me in my blue-black hair, cigarettes extended out windows cracked, kids trying to impress each other with dreams and hope.
After a long and loaded silence, Hal squeezed my hand.
"Honey? We have a HOUSE, now. This is our house."
And when I looked over at him, and he at me, we found that we were staring into the eyes of adults.