They say that you never really leave a place that you love. A few days ago, however, we did just that. Our little family packed up and said goodbye to the home that we’ve loved, to the home that had been so good to us. And I have all the feels.
This home first welcomed me and my husband. At the time we were a bright eyed, relatively well-rested, newly married couple expecting our first child. It was our first home purchase as a married couple. It was ours. We relished in the restaurants we could walk to and began our tradition of Friday night happy hours. We settled in happily, as we awaited the arrival of M.
And then she arrived. When we brought her home, we gave her a tour of the house, just the three of us. “Here is the yard where you will play….here is where you will sleep…..here are your toys, etc.” She was asleep in her car seat at the time, but we carried it around the house and showed her everything. We were so proud. And she loved it too. She would lay on a blanket in the backyard listening to the wind blow through the leaves. As she grew, she loved to help us rake those leaves. In the early months, as she lay on her play mat which was right by the window I would sit next to her and eat my breakfast, the sun shining down on both of us as I marveled at my girl. As she became mobile, I would often find her by her basket of books quietly thumbing through each one. Those moments are forever ingrained in my memory.
Then there was the day that she turned the corner into the living room holding a big bouquet of blue balloons signifying that a baby brother was on his way. We got to work converting the guest room into a nursery, and I quickly fell in love with the world of blue. The tree right outside W’s window made it feel like a tree house that was safe, warm, and tucked away from the rest of the world. I remember pulling out of the garage to head to the hospital and seeing M standing there waving goodbye knowing it was the last time this home would ever host us as a family of 3.
When we brought W home, there was too much going on to give him the tour. Typical of a second child, we expected he would just figure it out. M would sit at the table in the kitchen swinging her little feet and talking to me while I carried W around in the constant dance that exists with a newborn. The house felt smaller now that there were 4 of us, but I would make lap after lap bouncing and swaying this new little life.
As he grew, this house was home to even more moments that will live with me forever. The pitter patter of their feet as they ran across the hall with their hooded towels trailing behind them after bath. The sight of them playing under the same window where M and I had spent our early days. Springs and summers gardening together in the yard, the holes I would dig quickly filling up as they “helped.” The THUMP of M’s feet on the floor in the morning signaling that the day had begun usually at an hour we were not quite ready for. The “birthday cake for breakfast” tradition of gathering around the table to sing “Happy Birthday” and enjoy cake before beginning the day. The excitement and magic in their eyes as the padded down the stairs on Christmas mornings. This house has been everything to us.
I know it so well. I know which floorboard creaks on the stairs and how to avoid it when I come down to work out in the morning. I know how to open the door to W’s room quietly so it doesn’t crack and wake him when I go in to kiss him goodnight. I know the sound of the click of M’s door when she opens it first thing in the morning. I know the long awaited sound of the garage door opening signaling my husband is home for the day, and the way his feet sound on the floor of W’s room as he rocks him to sleep. I know how peaceful the house feels at night after everyone has gone to bed. I know everything about it.
And I hope whoever inherits this home after us will love it too, for it was truly a wonderful place for us. It loved us, and we loved it. My heart is so full of hope and excitement for the next step in our journey, and I know our next home will be so good to us too. But this place? This place will be with me forever.
Find the joy~