A house isn’t a home until it has been baptized by a defining event — something that everyone will remember and a memory that will be talked about at every Christmas and Thanksgiving celebration for years to come.
In my old house, the baptism consisted of having the brother of the previous owner drive up to the house as we were unloading the van and moving our furniture into the house. This wouldn’t have been unusual except for the fact that not only did he not know his brother had sold his house — but his brother had neglected to tell him that he moved to Des Moines, Iowa the previous week! I’m guessing they weren’t a very close family.
So, now that we have been in our house about two weeks, we were wondering (and dreading) about the baptism. We didn’t have to wait too long.
Last night we were having a small family gathering to say good-bye to my son, Tim who is shipping out for Korea for a couple of weeks. He is in the Navy Reserve and has to do his two weeks service overseas. The day after he gets back he is leaving for Prescott, Arizona to train to be a forest fire fighter, which will last until November. So, there is a chance we won’t see him for about 3 months. All of my children were here with their spouses (except Jenny’s hubby who had to work), my mother-in-law and of course, the grandchildren. The house was full of noise, laughter, talking and of course, love.
And that’s when it happened. Picasso‘s spirit entered the small body of Liam (my grandson) and proceeded to baptize my house. After all — this was a perfect time — most of the family was in attendance, there was a lot of love in the room — and the absolute requisite for any baptism by Picasso was present in large quantities.
While all of the adults were enjoying each other’s company – Picasso decided that those white walls were just not right for this house. So, he grabbed the nearest paintbrush (in this case, a green crayon) and started in the living room. He baptized the living room, the door of the linen closet, the door of the bathroom and the door of the guest bedroom. He continued his baptism into the main entryway – where the ritual was brought to a screaming halt ( and I do mean screaming) by Liam’s mother. Picasso fled little Liam’s body and left him standing to take the credit for the masterpiece on the new walls.
There was a lot of crying and screaming (I admit, some of it was my own) – and then calmer heads and Mr. Clean‘s Magic Erasers prevailed.
The baptism was concluded with my daughters cleaning the walls, Liam crying hysterically, me crying and cursing. After a while, both Liam and I calmed down — he apologized (with lots of sobbing) – and I kissed his little noggin and gave him absolution.
The walls survived – and they are going to be painted in a few weeks anyway — but the house has been baptized. We had our defining event – and we will talk about it until Liam is an old man – or at least until he brings home his fiance.