The House You Built

July 20, 2017 auticus 2 comments


This is a beautiful song. From start to finish I find a lot encouragement from it. For me, this song has a double meaning. On one hand, it’s a broken house trying to find your place among parents who don’t seem to show you love, but through the song, the family becomes stronger.

The other meaning this song holds for me, and the one I’ll be focusing on, the child doesn’t believe that her family loves her. As a child, she is unable to understand or comprehend the ins and outs of life.

I grew up in a young family. My dad joined the military right out of highschool, so his idea of love was very harsh and cold. My mom, marrying my dad out of highschool, learned that love and affection was only shown on birthdays and holidays. Everything else was business as usual. This is the type of home I was born into, and spent the first ten years of my life in.

I was convinced my parents didn’t love me, that I was a burden to them, and they’d be better off without me. I wasn’t able to understand that my dad had to learn how to be an adult in a cruel world, or that when I was born, my parents were still kids themselves learning their place in this world.

To me, this song is my older self talking to my younger self. At first, I’m talking to myself where I am at that moment, “Don’t look down / Even though they’re looking down on you/”. Because I was too young to really understand anything else, and I needed someone to meet me where I was, and tell me how I was feeling was ok.

Not only that, but there is a sense of frustration, “If only I could show your future you would light up like the sun.” Looking back at that time of my life, I wish I could have told myself where I’d be now. Given myself the encouragement I needed at the time to make it through. It’s one of the reasons I’ve gone into this field, to be that voice to others in similar positions I was in, and hopefully help them not walk it alone.

But, the song doesn’t end there, eventually, the character in the song starts to grow up, and starts to learn some of the intricacies of life and their parents story, they learn that “there’s no-one looking down on you.” But it’s not just the child who grew.

The child “Little light” starts to gain self confidence, the mom “Mrs. Might” learns how to express her belief in her child. The dad “Mr. Beaten Down” learns how to love and express that. Not only that, but the dad goes on to give their child what they can to help their “little light” make something of their life.

This right there is such a beautiful image of a family making it through a dark time together and coming out stronger for it. It also mirrors my own walk with my family very closely, which makes it close to my heart. There was a time I wouldn’t acknowledge my dad was even home, and would only go to my mom if I needed something. But today, I talk to my parents all the time, and consider them best friends who I can confide in.


2 Comments on “The House You Built

  1. The most jarring realization as we get older is that no one knows what they’re doing. Including parents. In some strange ideal world, parents would be flawless and know how to give their children all the love and emotion support they need. But they’re just humans and they make mistakes.

    I like how positive this song and your take on it is, and I think it’s true for a lot of people in similar situations as they grow older.

    It’s also great that you’re choosing a field where you can help and give back to others, and I like how you explain that you want “to be that voice to others in similar positions (you were) in, and hopefully help them not walk it alone.” That’s really beautiful.

    1. For sure. In no way did I mean to imply my situation was unique (hopefully it didn’t come across that way!) it’s so hard as a child when you don’t have the ability to understand these things fully. I’ve seen so many teens and young adults unable to come to that realisation.

      I do like this song, it’s one of my favorites in the album. I think it’s such an important message for kids to hear.

      One of the hardest things I think, is that feeling of loneliness and isolation. My heart breaks for them, and I want to do what I can to help them.

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