What Makes Your House a Home

by Margrett Dawson Wallace
(Pelham, GA USA)

What Makes Your House a Home
A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams. It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.
Is there a difference between a house and a home?...

Today I had a talk with the people in the house. I thought I would see, just for fun, if my family had any idea of the difference between a house and a home. Big surprise, they didn't. First I asked "What is a house?" I received various answers such as… "It’s where you live." It's where you go when you get out of school." "It's where you go to do your homework, replied my grandson"… finally I heard "It's where you eat."
I then asked the family to describe what a home is. Guess what, I received the same answers. I kept saying "are you sure there is not a difference?" They would think for a minute but not one thought there was any difference between a house and a home. None of them seemed to have an emotional, comforting feel for the home. To them they were one in the same.

I thought to myself - it must be me. Maybe I'm not explaining it to them correctly. So, I set about telling them that they all gave some really good descriptions about what a house is. What I really wanted them to do is take a few minutes to get it straight in their heads about what a home means to them. They all looked at me like I had grown another head, especially the older one though I was becoming a little bitchy. But I'm the authority figure and they must listen/obey. So they sat silently staring around the room.
I thought to myself, maybe if I give them a few hints it would help. So, I said "To me home means that there is always someone there who understands what you mean and what you are going through. A home is where you feel safe and protected. A home is where you feel you are surrounded by love. A home is where you always feel welcome." A clean home is where all have and take responsibility for keeping it clean. Not looking at it as a house when you only sleep, eat, watch Television , talk on their cell phones and leave the house cluttered and in a total mess. We all should take more responsibility for keeping the house clean, therefore I presented them with a list of things to do.

I told them to think about my little list and then make their own. They sat for a few minutes then began to write a little down. When they all seemed ready I said "OK, why doesn't everyone read one thing from their list. Remember we are talking about what is the difference in a house and home…and what it means to you."

The first response was "It's where I live. "OK, maybe they still didn't understand. Again my grandson stood up and said, "It's where I go to bed at night." OMG! They weren't getting it. I thought to myself, one more and I quit. OK, Ladis, stand up and tell us all what home means to you. "That's where my grand- mom and mom and my aunt are." Yes, and he's got it. "What do you mean by that?" I ask cautiously. "Well it means that everybody I love is there.

I furthered explained that a house is a roof and four walls. A home is what contains the people you love, security, and understanding. It was like pulling teeth but I believe they all understand what I mean by it.

I have found out that there are many children who do have a house but not a home as we know it. There are a lot of them going home to an empty house that is often times still empty when they go to bed. They are left to scrounge around the house to make themselves a dinner. These are not sitting down at a dinner table with a family laughing and chatting. They are putting themselves to bed, they have no one there to say good night to. When they get up in the morning there may be someone else in the house but they are still asleep, not up helping the child get ready for school.

I better understand why there is a problem understanding what the difference is between a house and a home. I'm sure many of them don't think there is a difference. A home is more than just a roof over the head, it is what happens under the roof that really matters.

Making your house a HOME!

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Mar 19, 2012
What Make Your House a Home
by: Renenet

Thank you for sharing Margrett. Your article reflects how love is taken for granted. When children grow up in a loving home, they do not recognize it until it is lost to them.

Mar 19, 2012
house a home
by: Art

Great article Margrett. I'm reminded of a time and place in my home, which was like the one you describe. There was so much violence and abuse, confusion and chaos and it became just another way of life to me - upside down love my brother calls it. So how do we break this vicious cycle we created a monster.

Parents, is that where is all starts? Are our parents responsible? Remember, this is the generation on which we're depending to take care of us. Not the T.V. family.

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