The House vs. The Home

Real life conversation at work:

A house is made from sticks and plaster, a home is made from the people inside.

Co-worker: I’m moving this week.
Me: Oh, tell me about your new place.

*** Polite but irrelevant back and forth about the size, cost, location of the new place. ***

Me: We’ll be moving in 3.5 years once Miss Moe heads off to college. I’m looking forward to the rent-life for a while. We’re in a home much too big for us.
Co-worker: Really? What about when Miss Moe comes back from college to visit? She’s going to want her home base, her room, her familiar environment.
Me: We aren’t going to be holding on to a house that’s much too large for us for Miss Moe to have her same place to sleep on school breaks.
Co-worker:  Really? Wow. I stayed in my place while all my kids were in school. *Shakes head in judgement about my selfishness and heads back to cubicle.*

This made me think…. I’ve always subscribed to the fact that a house is just a structure, and the home is the people inside it. I will be at home with my family in a hotel in another country, our current place in suburbia, or an apartment when she’s on school breaks. When selecting an apartment, we’ll make sure it is well situated for a frequent visitor so she’s comfortable and surrounded by some of her things. However, will we have the five bedroom house in an area we don’t want to live in? No. We will not sacrifice our own happinesses and sense of adventure to give Miss Moe something she’s accustomed to for when she decides to come home. This would make me resentful. I don’t think it’s selfish to want something for Mr. Moe and I while she begins her greatest adventure yet. She will have to deal with the “adversity” of new surroundings. However, what will we give her? A home close to family (back to California). So, for the price of a five bedroom house she will get her doting parents and the entire Moe clan; which is a lot more than the sticks and plaster that make a house.

For 18 years we’ve worked hard to provide for Miss Moe. We’ve lived in areas with great schools and provided every avenue of assistance to help her succeed, find love of the arts, and become an incredible human. I hope we’ve imparted the value of shared experiences as the precipice to a happy home, and not the home itself.  We’ve been very clear with Miss Moe that when she “launches”, her parents too will launch into the next great phase of our lives. She’ll always have a home with us. It may look different, but we will always be home.

Home is where you feel at home and are treated well. 
Dalai Lama

~Mrs. Moe

One thought on “The House vs. The Home

  1. moneyflamingo

    Love this! I live in Australia and go see my family back in Europe once a year or so. It is nice to sleep in my old room when I visit, it is like a travelling back in time for a couple of weeks. But if they decided to move I wouldn’t mind at all. You are completely right – a home is the people inside it! Don’t worry about your colleague. He is probably just angry because deep inside he regrets that he didn’t downsize when his kids moved out…


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