Within These Walls Is All We Need


within these walls

I used to think we needed a bigger house.

I used to bemoan our cramped quarters. Two kids in one bedroom with stuff stacked everywhere. One baby in a tiny nursery. An open living room overtaken by children’s toys and chairs and tables and a play kitchen. A dining table that functions as a homework station and a studio for art projects. A kitchen with not enough cupboards and counter space.

I used to visit other peoples’ homes and fawn over all that they had.

The finished basement. The playroom. The guest room. The home office. Multiple full bathrooms. I’d compliment them on how they decorated their bigger spaces. I’d thank them for hosting and sharing their space, letting my kids run wild, and providing a bountiful spread for the adults.

I used to dream of what we would do with more space.

We would build a modest addition. (The kids even had a plan for raising money by selling overpriced hot chocolate). We’d build over the garage and put on a few extra rooms. Just enough to give us the spaces we needed. Enough space to have grandparents have a room to themselves, instead of a couch in the already crowded living room. Enough space for the kids to let loose, away from us, and potentially each other.

Enough space to never grow out of.

Even before we were homebound by this pandemic, I realized I was looking at life through a position of privilege. I didn’t need any of that. I wanted it.

What we needed was a new roof, not more rooms. We had to tap into our savings, but we were able to afford that necessary replacement.

What we always need is our health. A bout of flu and strep hit our house, but we were lucky to bounce back quickly.

What we always need is a safe place to rest our heads and bodies.

We have more than safety. We have comfort. That is a luxury.

Then, the pandemic happened, and I rejoiced in all that we have within these walls. We have more than we need. We have food, we have books, we have games, we have devices, the list is endless. We have each other. We have stability. We have love.

I no longer dream about an addition to our house. Maybe one day, we will build one, but we don’t need to.

All we need is right here, and it’s a privilege to have all we have packed into this space.

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Maria F
Maria F. is a high school English teacher who naturally finds herself reflecting upon the routine and randomness that accompany each day as a working mommy. She relies upon humor and some sort of chocolate or frozen treat as survival tactics. She and her husband live in East Norwalk with their three kids, Abbie (2012), Charlie (2014), and Phoebe (2018). You can find Maria F. driving in her beloved dream car, a minivan, listening to audiobooks during her commute, or playing DJ and climate controller when she’s shuttling her kids around town. Forever a sorority girl and Ohio State Buckeye, she will (almost) always choose socializing over chilling on the couch.


  1. You reached the stage of wisdom before many others 40 is the age we all grow up – love reading your reflections ❤️


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