Often a house and a home are used interchangeably in conversation. I will even admit that I do too. But there is a clear difference between the two that must be made. A house is a building structure, four or more walls and a roof that is designed to protect residents from the world’s natural elements. Building or buying a house requires materials, building expertise, and lots of money. A home, though, is very different.
A home is a haven or a place of comfort for people. People house their most personal belongings inside their homes, and it’s where they feel most safe and protected. A home requires an emotional connection, not physical things or labor. While a house can be bought, a home cannot. A home represents who we are, our personalities, and how we decide to choose our lives, while a house represents the physical nature or components a home/house is made up of.
Right now, I live in two different houses, one in Owings Mills and one in Parkville. The first house is my family’s (Smith) and is occupied by my mother, father, and uncle. The second house is my girlfriend’s family (Brooks), which is occupied by her mother and father. While both houses are homes to each of our respective families, the feeling of home is absent to us. That is not because we have disassociated ourselves from the Smiths or the Brooks but because we have created our own family.
On November 7, 2021, my daughter, Kingsley Lucia-Francine Smith, made her grand entrance into this world. After a long nine months, being able to see and hold my daughter changed my life forever. Every decision I now make, whether big or small, I question how this will affect Kingsley. Decisions like what formula she should drink, whether I should hang out with my friends tonight, and most importantly, where we should live. So far, we’ve been going back and forth between our family's households, and while they do offer a great deal of support and relief, neither one of us can really identify home. When you live underneath someone else’s roof, there are rules in place, and at some times, both parents don’t understand boundaries. The only way for this to stop is for us to find our own home. Our own home will house our family, house our love, and house our memories, creating a space of happiness and comfort for us all.