This house has been our home for a year now. We arrived when I was 8 months pregnant and could only carry a pot plant and my bulging belly. Now our baby is more than 10 months old and as heavy as 6 big bottles of water.
This house has chocolate brown shutters outside and ice cream coloured walls inside- the bedrooms are pistachio and lemon, the living room is old fashioned vanilla. And the bathroom is tiled top to toe in candy pink and baby blue making me think of the song about two toothbrushes in those colours. Now there are three toothbrushes in the mug above the sink and I’m teaching my daughter how to use hers for her four baby teeth.
This house has a terrace that wraps itself along one long and one short side, like a crooked arm cradling us. When we arrived it was in fragrant full bloom- jasmine, gardenia, frangipani- and over the year we have added to the collection of plants in pots- more roses, more basil, an inherited fern and lopsided Christmas tree and a purple leaved plant that came from a cutting from our cleaner (who I think secretly would much rather be a gardener than a cleaner).
This house is next to a construction site, as are many houses in Beirut. When we came they were digging the foundations and it felt as though they were drilling deep down into me as I tried to practice my breathing and relaxation techniques in preparation for giving birth. Now it is nearly a 12 storey building and the shudders and judders and bangs and clangs it makes have become a familiar lullaby, almost a necessity for baby naps.
Happy 1st Birthday house- thank you for being our home.