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It takes a village? More like an attentive family.

They came. They saw. They rearranged.

Furniture that is. Lamps, tables, chairs, the couch, pictures, toiletries – you name it, my family moved it. And honestly, it looks much better.

Last Friday my parents, sister, and niece descended down like angels from Cape Cod armed with home baked goods and a whole lot of energy and excitement. While the plan for the weekend was to celebrate my mom’s birthday, it was also their chance to play interior designers. They went to town, creating – as if possible – more space in the apartment, while adding their own personal touches. I may have “organized” genes coursing through my body, but even a professional organizer can benefit from the fresh eyes of others.

Saturday, after a day spent walking through Central Park, down side streets admiring the architecture, and looking at furniture stores, friends whisked my parents away as my sister, niece and I prepared for a surprise dinner party. And while my mom was undoubtedly surprised when she returned, the even bigger surprise was that sixteen people fit comfortably in the apartment.

As hostess, I found myself giving tours, serving food, picking up crumbs from the floor, making coffee, washing dishes, taking the garbage out, sharing stories, and feeling so happy to be a homeowner.

Sunday morning, while leisurely eating bagels and fruit in the apartment, light streaming in, it might as well have been a think tank the way ideas were tossed around for the redesign of the kitchen. “Glass cabinets, white cabinets, built-in lights, wine rack, counter space, drawers that pull out, taller fridge, bookshelves.” While it may take a village to raise a child, it obviously takes a family to create a home. And as ideas made their way onto sketch paper, I realized it wasn’t so much my home they were designing, but an extension of their own. For even as suitcases were being packed, the discussion was when they’d visit next.

Listening to them I was reminded of a dream I had in 1995 when I first considered moving to New York. In the dream I was living in a tiny loft in the city. It was raining and family and friends kept showing up and every time someone arrived, the apartment grew. After this weekend, it’s clear that that dream has come to fruition.

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