"I don't like your house," Holden hollered from the backseat in my garage.
"Why don't you like my house?" I asked, calmly, I hoped.
"Because it's too small," he said. "We only stay on the upstairs."
I carried him up the stairs to the only place we stay. I cuddled him like a baby, so maybe he'd forget he can talk and complain now.
But there are other complaints, too.
There aren't enough toys here.
I don't even have a basement or an upstairs.
I don't have cable TV.
But mostly, they complain because this is not home.
I am at a disadvantage, living in a place they never knew before. This place doesn't have the advantage of comfort and familiarity. We didn't spend afternoons lounging around here, before the change. They didn't eat dinners here on this table, they didn't blow out birthday candles here, they've never known Santa to visit us here.
One day, I will have a couch. They will have big lounge chairs. I will create the idea of comfort, hoping that comfort itself inevitably follows.
I am not taking it personally when they say they don't like my house; I am reminding myself that it has nothing to do with me. A house is just a house. I will make them feel at home here.