life at home

I am not a huge advocate of the SAHD* movement because I believe that everyone is unique and what is best for one girl may not be best for the rest, but I am an advocate of staying at home, especially in the case of daughters. There are many, many benefits of living at home, ranging from financial to spiritual. I am twenty years old and rather content to be where I am today (which is just above the kitchen) but that doesn’t mean that I will always live here, nor that I chide my friends who live in apartments, dorms or abroad.

But there are days, even several this Summer, when I don’t want to live at home. The lack of privacy and independence can wear on me. The complications of working with the family schedule. The obligation to submit to my parents’ authority and guidelines. The close quarters. The noise. The responsibilities.

Even still, I am very thankful to live with my family and be a part of each of their lives. I am glad I didn’t move away at eighteen and miss all this growth and exploration of my younger siblings. I am glad I can assist my parents. I’m glad I can still keep up my friendship with my older siblings. It is a very good life.

But I’m not here to argue the pros and cons of living at home or moving out, college or no college. I was simply impressed over the past couple of weeks with all of the things I enjoy about living at home and all of the reasons I love my little siblings. Mostly, they make things interesting.

Two days ago, while I was minding my own business and preparing some chicken to be oven-fried, Willin (10) came up to me and asked me, “Why do meteors catch on fire? And what’s a concubine?” Is it bad that I had more trouble explaining away the first question than the latter? You never know what situation a ten-year old boy is going to put you in.

There are many awkward moments when you have little siblings around, but more often they just try your patience. Like a few days ago when Jubilee (9) followed me from my room, down the stairs and to the kitchen (which is basically a full lap of the house) saying, “I scratched the heel of my…the heel of my…the heel…the heel of my…” It took a boat-load of self-control for me to refrain from whipping around and saying, “FOOT. It’s called a FOOT for crying out loud!”

And then there are plain-ol gross moments. These became fewer as the children grew up and diapers and potty problems lessened, but then came Smelly Teenage Boy Smell. There is apparently no amount of deodorant that can disguise a Smelly Teenage Boy. A couple of days ago, I reached into the washer to pull out what I thought was a small load of clean clothes. Right as my hand clinched around the wad of fabric with full intention to chunk it into the dryer, I realized that it was something dry. Only not completely dry. Slightly moist, in fact. At this moment, my eyes locked on the garment in my grip. It was not a load of clean clothes, but rather Sam’s dirty football uniform (complete with special underwear I have no words to describe) which had been tossed into the washer so as to not have to be touched by anyone who was willing to wash them. Great, I thought. Now I have to cut off my hand.

But haven’t I mentioned that it’s wonderful to live at home? That I love it? Well, I really do. {Almost} all the time.

For example, when I took this picture in June and came across it again the other day, I was overwhelmed with how lucky I am. Who else gets to see something so freakishly adorable every day?

 And then there is said Smelly Teenage Boy’s said Smelly Football Games. I will go to the second game tonight, and I’m actually looking forward to it. If you haven’t noticed, I spend most of my time in a room above the kitchen, typing. When I’m not doing that, I’m reading or cooking or grocery shopping or going to some church function. It isn’t very often I get to sit in stands with a bunch of interesting (to stare at) people and see Sam do what Sam does best. It’s awesome. He has a real skill for football and knows everything about it, but he’s still such a gentle guy. Today I heard him say, “I feel bad for hitting them, but my coach keeps telling me that that’s the game.” That is a little hard for me to wrap my mind around (that we have organized Hitting Each Other Time) but I know that, because of his love of the game and dreams of playing football in college and becoming a coach, he will learn to be braver. (Which will be great, as long as he never gets hurt and is always gentle off the field.)

There’s also Willin’s obsession with cats, dogs and pretty much every other kind of animal. He knows the most bizarre (but true!) trivia, which he blurts at random. I fell asleep listening to him talk about wild cats the other day. I felt bad, but I’m not sure he noticed. I went to Hastings a few days later and found him a neat fact book about both cats and dogs. Pretty sure I was his favorite person that day. Which makes that my favorite kind of day.

Everly

*Stay-At-Home-Daughters, a movement of people who believe that women should stay with their parents until they are married, no matter the circumstances.

6 Responses to life at home

  1. Rachelle Rea September 14, 2012 at 12:52 am #

    Hmm, let’s see, I think I’m partly participating and partly not. I’m a college girl but I live at home (and I live above the kitchen, too!). :) I smiled all through this blog post. It’s one of those where I can say not only that “I’ve been there,” “I am there.” ;) Especially when the noise is so distracting it takes everything in me not to slam the door to announce to the world, “I’m trying to study here.”

    But I’m oh-so-grateful for the goodness of God in giving me such a blessed place to call home (rowdy though it may be). :)

  2. Melee September 8, 2012 at 3:54 am #

    I think I might unwittingly be a part of SAHD. Haha. ;)

    I love this post, Everly! Your interactions with your family made me grin, and I very much identify with the post in general. Some days it feels like the worst thing, but most days I wouldn’t trade living at home for a flat in London. (Actually, I’m not so sure that’s true…)

    My teenage brothers are surprisingly unsmelly! I have no idea how. Baseball must not produce as much sweat as Football…

    Sorry I haven’t been around in a while. I tried to leave a comment a while ago, but I think something went wrong. Hopefully this one will work!

  3. Hannah H. September 7, 2012 at 1:36 am #

    Oh wow, I kinda love this post. (You summed up the living-at-home experience quite nicely!) It’s a love/hate experience many days, but it’s a growing experience too, and a vital one.

  4. Chantel September 6, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    I was at home until I got married, close to 24. It WAS challenging, very challenging. Especially as I begin working full time and developing my own life while still trying to live the one my parents had set up. It was incredibly more challenging as a twenty something to find the fine balance between honoring my parents’ wishes and developing my own identity in a healthy way than it was when I was 18, even.

    I didn’t stay home because I believed I had to, either. It was just what happened and what worked out in my situation. And even though it really was hard sometimes, it was also wonderful other times. I learned a lot of valuable lessons that came in handy after i got married. I don’t regret those “extra” years at home now.

    But I’m with you. I don’t think “staying at home” is the only answer. Sometimes it is best, sometimes not. Just can’t stuff everyone in the same box. ;)

    Anyway, this is just meant to cheer you on. I understand, and it is possible. And I think you are doing a great job of it. :)

    • Everly Pleasant September 7, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

      Chantel,
      Thank you, thank you! That is really encouraging. I hope I look back with the same satisfaction that you have now. :)

      Ev

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