We’re moving to a new house in less than a week, the reality of which hit me the other day. You’d think it would have sunk in sooner – maybe when the guy accepted our offer, or when we went over to see how the master closet was coming along, or when we closed on the house. We own it, but we don’t live there yet so it hasn’t felt like ours.
But then we secured a date to move in, and bam, it was actually happening.
“Hooray!” That should be my only reaction. But it’s not. Besides a bit of panic about getting packed, I find myself feeling sad. Really? After a year and a half of looking, after two months of hoping it would be ours and another month of waiting to move, now I’m sad? Yep.
I’ll readily admit that I’m fickle. I want what I want when I want it, unless I then decide I don’t, until I do again. Like a pregnant woman deciding what to eat. It makes no sense. But that’s the nature of emotions – they can surprise you no matter how in touch with them you are. We’ve recounted the reasons we’re excited to move: no more waiting ‘til everyone wakes up in the morning to shower, because our house is so small a creaking floorboard can act as an alarm clock; no more listening to the kids’ cds playing in the loft upstairs at bedtime while we try to watch tv downstairs (Veggie Tales and The Walking Dead do not mix); no more trying to make breakfast and pack lunches with five bodies in the galley kitchen, the two year old saying “S’cuth me,” to all of us big ol’ people in her way; no more saying goodbye to everyone ‘til spring when cold weather hits because there’s nowhere for them to sit in our tiny house. Do you sense a theme? Yes, tiny. I’m excited for space. For our five bodies, and lots of others’. For sleepovers and Thanksgiving dinners and birthdays. So why the sadness?
Because despite the annoying aspects of our house, it has been our home for six years. It was our first house. The only one Lily or Mae has known. The house on the best block ever, with the best neighbors and the old-school brick street. With the giant Sycamore out front that glimmers in spring and summer and drops giant, easily-raked leaves in fall. Where my dad and uncle spent sixteen hours putting together the playset out back. In front of which we’ve taken family photos, jumped in piles of leaves, ran through the sprinkler, tried and failed and tried again to plant flowers in the shade, held lemonade stands, ridden bikes, swung on the porch swing saying hi to everyone walking their dogs, carved pumpkins and built snowmen. Where we spent six cozy Christmases, where the dishwasher swished and sloshed us to sleep each night, where we held awesome dance parties in the kitchen. It’s full of our memories as a family. And even with all it’s faults, it has served us well. It’s hard to say goodbye.
We’re only moving a mile away, so we can certainly visit often, reminiscing about our sweet little bungalow. But as always happens, things will change. Someone will paint it another color, or add on or, worst of all, let the house go. Weeds may grow, paint may chip, windowsills may rot and be left to their own devices. And that will be a shame. But I can’t control the future. Only remember the past and enjoy what’s happening now. The good thing is, both are pretty great.
So goodbye little house. No matter what happens in your future, remember us. We will remember you. With time your faults will fade and you’ll be only soft and rosy in our memories – the place we started Us in full force. The place we first called home. We’ll always love you for that.
One Reply to “Remember Us”
Another fabulous post, Jenea! I love all the memories you have in that house–moments to treasure for sure and somehow they can’t be separated from the place.
I remember having many of the same feelings when we left our apartment of nine years in Turkey to move back to the States. It was a move I had been desperate to make for, well, about the whole nine years. And yet… it was hard to say goodbye because so much of our marriage and our family life had been witnessed by those walls: births, deaths, Christmases and something like 3,000 plain ol’ ordinary days. I still have moments of nostalgia even though there were hardships– like no washing machine and five flights of stairs with hands full of groceries, AND a baby AND a stroller. Not fun! And yet, it is part of me, part of who “we” are now. I still miss it in that “emotions are so illogical” sort of way, although I am so much happier being here.
Anyway, thanks for capturing that strange paradox of happiness and sadness that comes with change. Happy moving!