We had given up all hope of the house we fell in love with becoming ours. Then last week the solicitor rang. I didn’t answer the phone. I didn’t want to hear it. She rang three times.
So I called her back and she said “Everyone is ready to exchange today. Shall we do it?”
And so last Tuesday we exchanged. And then on Friday we completed.
After not believing it would happen, it actually all happened rather fast.
We’d seen the house seven months before. We’d put an offer in immediately.
As soon as I walked in, I knew it had to be our home. I hadn’t got any further than the entrance hall. Tony later told me he looked at my face right there and knew the same.
But for seven months we felt like it was slipping away from us. Our lives became more complicated, those involved in our chain experienced their own personal dramas. It felt like we would never all be ready at the same time, within the time frames our multinational bank had determined for us.
Then something changed. Suddenly, without us daring to believe it, the shattered fragments of a broken London property deal began to pull towards each other to make a whole. And they did, on Friday.
“Congratulations” the solicitor said down the phone. “You can pick up the keys.”
And so we took the children in the car to our new home.
It is the first place that we will call ours as a family of four. It is within these walls that our babies will grow, that they will one day be able to reach the door handles, and that we will etch marks into the wood to measure them as they get taller. It is under this roof that they will put on their first school uniforms, that they will blow out their birthday candles, that we will stick their drawings to the wall. It is here that they will wake in the night from dreams that haunt them, but find comfort in the arms of their mother. It is here that they will spend rainy afternoons, it is in this garden that their sunflowers will bloom and my lillies will return every year. It is here that we will come to find each other after the worst days and seek out each other after the best ones too. It is here that we will laugh as well as cry and where we will smile as well as worry and despair.
It is here that we will grow.
This little house, far away from many people we love, but close to others we love too, it is ours.
We will make it our home.