A little bit ago I had an outdoor party for whoever in my special education department could come. A "Deck Party" is what we called it, since we have our lovely (ginormous) deck and really haven't used it yet to entertain given, you know, pandemic.
About 17 or so people came over, which is more people than my house has seen since our housewarming party in March 2019, and that was an open house so maybe it's the most at one time, ever. It rained at first (of course) -- here we are in a drought but if you plan an outdoor party (and this was the RAIN DATE because it rained on the first date), IT WILL RAIN. We started in the garage (doors open, fans a-blowin') and then migrated up to the deck when it stopped and we had toweled off the seating.
Very few people went inside, and masks were a requirement if they had to go pee or wanted a little tour of the house.
You know what's funny? I realized that my house has several things that at first glance seem somewhat commonplace, but then have a sort of secret history, a deeper meaning that isn't immediately apparent. I am proud to say that I gave a tour of my house, not a tour of my memories of trauma and resilience.
Someone said how much they loved our Buddha statue in the window going up the stairs:
|Upper left corner, above the cat who was just making out with a roll of paper towels that's rolled down the stairs. Womp womp|
I said, "Thank you." I did not say, "Thank you, he's a little boy reading a book because he was a Christmas gift from Bryce to commemorate our 2012 miscarriage, sort of like the little boy we thought we'd have (even though it was too early to know that sort of thing), and a way to remember and honor what we'd lost." That would probably dim the party mood, and I don't owe that to anyone. So, yay me for just leaving it at what it currently is -- a cool piece that we love, but that has private meaning and reminds us of our resilience more than our sadness at this point.
Someone else noted our drying racks for glasses on the kitchen counter:
I said, "Thanks! We love it too!" I did not say, "oh hey, that's actually a bottle drying rack called "Lawn" and the little branches and cactus are actually meant for bottle parts, but it works just as well for wine glasses and reusing zip-loc bags. One of the very few shower things we didn't return or donate after we knew we wouldn't have a baby." Yup, no one needs to know that. And if they look it up, they'll probably figure it out. I'm fairly certain I have never complimented something at someone's house and then looked it up though.
I no longer explain that the "Craft Room" aka "Puzzle Room" aka "World's Most Uncomfortable Guest Room" aka "Eggi's Room" is furnished with a few pieces that were meant for our nursery.
We had chosen an upholstered reclining glider so it could fit in with the rest of our furniture later, and it lives in there. The cats have pretty much made it a scratching post so it's worse for wear, but we do use it. The dresser in the room is by Fisher Price, meant for baby clothes. Okay, if anyone is actually having a baby or knows someone who is, for the love, you do not need a special dresser. That was the biggest racket. This dresser LOOKS normal but actually has insanely tiny drawers. Two are empty for guests (LOL, COVID), and the rest hold gift wrapping supplies and laundry appliance maintenance stuff. They've been just "furniture" for far longer than they ever were meant for a tiny human, and it doesn't make me sad to see them. It makes me sad to see the clawed up upholstery, though. And that the bed we thought was a "daybed" is just an insanely uncomfortable twin bed on a very large frame with what we thought was a trundle but turns out to be a drawer. Which is for puzzles. Or I suppose, if you're boring, linens.
I look at these things now as a map of resilience. They were sad at one time. They were reminders steeped in grief and what-was-supposed-to-be. But now, they have a purpose. And no one but us needs to know their secret histories.