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Open Letter to The Buyers of My Family Home

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Dear Home Buyers,

Seven years ago, I was you. My fiancé and I scoured real estate websites and searched for a place to start our lives together. We found this house. We transformed it; we made it ours. My family’s foundation is here. These walls witnessed my transition from single woman to wife, and eventually to a mother. This house tells our story, and it’s something I’d like you to know.

Whether you think the décor is lovely or plan to change it immediately, you should know that the whole aesthetic was a compromise. My taste is admittedly boring. My husband’s love of all things bright saved you. Without him, you would be buying a house decorated in 50 Shades of Beige.

There’s the living room, where I labored with my firstborn. During contractions, I’d wrap my arms around my husband. We swayed like eighth graders at a dance as I tried to breathe through the pain. And that couch is where I spent my baby’s newborn phase, leaking milk and tears. It took endless hours, weeks, but we did it–we figured out breastfeeding together. I was proud of myself, and grateful to her. In this room, my daughter taught me how to fight.

I spent my life enamored with the written word, but I officially became a writer in the dining room. As new mom, I was given the opportunity to write for an online parenting magazine. I jumped at it, though I admit I was a little afraid. I spent hours on my laptop crafting the eight hundred words that would serve as my audition. It paid off, and I earned my first byline. I didn’t know it at the time, but I would write dozens of articles for that website, and two years later I gathered the guts to email the editors at Kveller. I discovered that each published piece is as much of a rush as the first.

And those tiles at the end of the hallway? It might look like simple ceramic to you, but that’s where my younger daughter took her first wobbly steps. She was, and is, a sweet little girl, so she timed them for Thanksgiving night. I was surprised and delighted…and incredibly relieved. I, a mom who had just returned to work, had not missed this milestone.

Despite all the windows, the bedrooms are warm, even in winter. In spring, you’ll glance out and notice that lots of different kinds of flowers will grow. White peonies and orange day lilies will sprout; red roses will bloom on the bush in the yard. Purple rhododendron and pink azaleas grow out front. They perfume the air every year.

The kitchen is my favorite part of the house, though, and not just because it has great space and light. In the beginning, I was an iffy chef; we lived on marinated chicken cutlets and stir-fry. But the new, pretty kitchen inspired me to branch out a bit. Over time I tackled some major items on my culinary bucket list: brisket, matzo ball soup, tomato sauce. Eventually I made baby food. I just learned how to make challah. Each time, the scents fill the kitchen. Everyone runs to the table, to eat a family meal together.

Out the back door and to the right is my garden. It may look like a plant graveyard now, but I promise, in a month or two, the soil will be great. Gardening reminded me to have patience, because there is no reasoning with blooms. But it paid off, and by summer’s end I had baskets of vegetables and herbs. If you’d like, I’ll leave seeds for you.

This house was kind to us. It is the backdrop for most of our important memories. But now it’s time for us to go. It gave us a space to start our family. Take good care of this place, please. I know it will be good to you, too. I wish you the same good fortune and love that I’ve known under this roof. I open the door for you both, and smile, and invite you inside.

Bru’chim Haba’im. Welcome home.

Sincerely,

Rachel

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