Sunday night we slept in our new home. We are still lacking lamps, dressers, a decent dining table and a slew of other items, but we have the essentials: beds and linens, a few chairs to sit on, boxes of toys and kitchen items, and each other. And we are happy.
I have never lived in such an urban location. Our home is attached to the large, modern church where I work, and unlike most Dutch flats that have windows at the front and back, our home runs sideways, with a wall of windows bringing in generous natural light on two levels. It stretches upwards with the bedrooms on the second floor. A large urban garden surrounded by a hedge creates a private green space amongst all the concrete, bike paths, streets and buildings.
At night, I hear the trams. Sometimes people talking. Noises from the church. Soon, these strange sounds will become habitual, a mix of elements necessary for proper sleep.
I watch Ezra in his new home and see unbridled, extreme relief. “Are all these things ours, mommy?” he asks again and again, just to make sure. Although they say children are much more flexible than we are, I know this whole move, and extended stays with friends and family, has taken it’s toll. Right now, he’d rather play in his room then go to the playground or play with other kids. He needs the time to claim his own space and redefine his relationship with the physical world around him. This home we can claim as our own.