When we first walked through this little blue house with our realtor almost exactly 7 years ago, it wasn’t my favorite. I remember standing in the driveway thinking that the bedrooms were too small, the bathroom was too small, the kitchen was too small, and in general it just felt, well, tiny. I believed then, that I wanted more space; a newer kitchen with a full-size stove, plush carpets, and shiny new everything. But with a newlywed budget, and the fact that the market was turning over quickly, it seemed that we didn’t have a chance to put an offer in before most of the houses we had looked at were sold from underneath our noses. But we put faith into where we had been led, decided to take a chance, and made an offer on the little blue house. The next morning it was accepted. It wasn’t perfect, but it would be ours.
We moved in that October when I was 8 months pregnant with Lucy. We spent that first week opening gallons of fresh paint in an attempt to make it feel more like our own. We assembled a crib and decorated a nursery, and told each other that we would come to love it. Because in staying true to our mantra, “We’ll make it work. We always do.”
Over the next 6 1/2 years we created memory after memory. We walked through that front door with three beautiful babies. It was here that we learned of and mourned the loss of both of my grandfathers, and Matt’s grandmother. We had one of our biggest fights to date in this front yard underneath the big tree, and with the added fuel of one too many drinks, but even then, we forgave and grew stronger as husband and wife under this one roof. We planned vacations, celebrated birthdays, and hosted some amazing nights with our friends in this dining room. We slowly filled this little house with more memories than I ever thought it’s walls would ever be able to hold. Even as our family grew, this house had gone from “too small” to “just right”, seemingly overnight.
And just now, it’s finally sinking in that while we can pack up all of the items that this home holds and move them into the new big house that is being built for us, that the memories will always live here. Not to say that they’ll be forgotten, but they’ll change in a way that tugs at my heart.
At this moment, as I’m sitting in our living room, I remember the things that have happened in this exact spot that I’m currently occupying. It was here that my parents held their first grandchild under Oliver’s watchful eye, that we’ve watched our children’s faces light up on many Christmas mornings as they marveled in the gifts that Santa had left, that I’ve sat on this couch and shared both joyful and sorrowful stories with my girlfriends, and that Matt and I have spent countless evenings sitting on the floor and playing games in front of the fireplace (typically in the comfort of a crackling Duraflame log.) I know that those memories won’t be easily forgotten, but in going forward they won’t be stirred up solely by location.
It’s a hard season right now. The stress of preparing the house for the market has passed, and I expected to feel relief at this point; but instead I’ve found that there is a new kind of stress that has silently creeped into my daily life. The kind of stress that comes with letting go of the familiar and preparing to open a door to the unknown.
My heart is torn. As I said earlier, I know that we can rebuild and we’ll create wonderful new memories that our children will share with their children. The new house will be the home that they grew up in, what they’ll remember when they reminisce about their childhood, and it will be the house that they bring our grandchildren home to. But even in knowing all of those truths, my heart is still mourning what we’re letting go of.
With a deep breath, I keep reminding myself that this season too will pass in time, and that this feeling of sadness will be written over by the overwhelming excitement of our new house. And that someday, that house too will become our home.