Essay: The Houses My Father Built
For Curbed, I wrote about my childhood for the first time.
My earliest sense memories are of construction: the smell of freshly sawed wood, the sound of hammering. I remember being in an airy, half-built room, picking up bent nails and putting them in a bucket. A photograph shows me, a toddler in pigtails, by the cement foundation of our house. My dad is beside me, in a white T-shirt and jeans. He looks young and healthy—there’s no outward sign that he’s disabled. It wasn’t the first house he would build for his family, nor the last. My childhood is shaped by a pattern of my father building us a home, selling it, and building another.