I walked by our old house last weekend- the one we took on as a neglected grande dame. The one we poured our days and nights into, pulling down falling plaster ceilings, scraping wallpaper, hanging wallpaper, doing what we could. The house that was impossibly huge, way bigger than we were. 8 bedrooms, 5 baths, 2 parlors, formal dining room, butler's pantry, dressing rooms, so much of everything. And the heating cost. Friends kept their coats on when visiting. As soon as it was fixed up enough, we sold it and moved on to Chicago. As much as I loved the neighborhood, I never really felt connected to that house. It was too much for us then.
But this door, oh, this time of year. I carried Maggie through that doorway as a newborn. 27 years ago this week. We put her into the arms of her big sister and watched them fall in love- in the room just there. I rocked her in the nursery chair by the yawning window up above. Tucked her in and tiptoed down the hall just beyond.
And I welcomed spring, swaying with her on my shoulder, looking out for this.
Our dependable, magnificent tree- the one that climbed up to us in the early dawn, waved at the window. The one that brought waking birdsong and pink lanterns, whispering each day, "There is so much more. Bring your little ones outside. Come out and see this charming, glowing spring. No more wallpaper, no more paint. Come outside and play. It is all just beginning- this is what you dreamed."
Happy birthday, darling Maggie. The house, our tree- still so elegant, so lovely- just like you. Our sweet little dream come true.