Friday, June 24, 2011

Mothering a Tiny House

Oh how I love this tiny house. We've put so much thought into every detail, and every piece and part of it has been selected with such care. I've caressed every surface so many times and watched it pass through so many stages. It's my third child, and it's grown up so fast.


Now it's like a teenager graduating from high school. We're cleaning it, selecting a few choice items of adornment for its presentation to the world, writing up a resume of sorts to describe all its many features and benefits. This part - preparing to actually sell the house - is bittersweet. I suspected all along that I would feel conflicted when it came time to send our first house out into the world but I won't let my attachment to it change my plans. This is an investment, and it has to get out there, charm and woo people, represent our potential, change hearts and minds, and ultimately be sold for enough money to finance our next build and feed our company so it too can grow.


Last night my husband and I took more photos of the house. The kitchen cabinet faces aren't quite complete, but they look almost finished so he hung them up so we could get a look at them with the painted panels. He'll have to take them down to add a trim detail, put on the final coat of clear finish, and attach the pulls.

I like to hang out in the house and go through the motions of using it to test for functionality. I put my face down in the sink as if I'm washing it, stand in the shower and pretend to wash my hair - all without turning on the water, of course. I even sit on the plastic covered toilet and look out the window. If my son was two (instead of a big huge four) I would stick him in the kitchen sink and wash him just to prove I could.

Some people might think it's weird, but at the point where a baby's transitioning between crawling and walking and they have pretty good motor control, the kitchen sink is the easiest place for a quick bath. At that stage my kids needed a thorough washing after every meal and every (snail squishing dirt sampling) visit to the garden. It's just not feasible to run a full bath every time they need one. The kitchen sink is at waist level for mom, and allows for a quick yet thorough cleaning and rinsing without using much water. In this case, the stainless steel sink I chose has all the right features - smooth surfaces, rounded corners, a faucet the swivels to the side so it doesn't project out over the bowl, and a separate pull out sprayer.


While I goofed around inside, Dylan set up a photo shoot outside. He put the camera on a tripod and adjusted the interior lights strategically for some timed exposures. Some of them are gorgeous - buttery light and evocative angles. My favorite is one he took from outside the office window that looks right through the house and out the front door.


It's time for me to practice the same kind of gentle distancing that us moms have to cultivate when kids are growing up and need to venture out into more independent lives of their own. I remind myself that though I love it, the house is not mine. Like our children, these projects come into the world through us, but they do not belong to us. They are born from our creative spirit, and we mold, direct, and equip them to go freely out into the world to do great things. So go forth and shelter, comfort, protect, and inspire people as the functional and beautiful dwelling that you are, tiny house! I hope the public loves you a fraction as much as I do, for if they do you will be adored and appreciated greatly.