Our family has lived in our current home for fifteen years. Kids were nine, seven, and three when we moved in. Prior to that move we had lived in four different houses in three different cities, and two different states. I remember feeling so relieved to be settled.
As someone who spent the first seventeen years of my life (until I left for college) in the same house, all of our moves were challenging. I worried about how the kids would handle each new place. Would they make friends easily? Would I? Of course, we all adjusted in our own way.
This house has truly become home. It’s where our kids grew up. So many memories. For example, my concern that Ryan would fall down the stairs. He was so little when we moved in, and the kids bedrooms were all upstairs. As it turned out, the concern should have been for me! I was the first one to bounce down the stairs on my bottom.
Although there was the time Robert tumbled down the stairs. Apparently Robert, Rachel, and Ryan were playing the game “follow your siblings directions while wearing a sleeping bag over your head.” I’m sure you’ve all played that one before! Some friendly advice; make sure the sibling giving directions knows their right from their left…
Many of the memories involve celebrations-and food. Saturday morning pancakes, Sunday night Chinese take-out, Dad’s burgers on the grill, my chocolate chip cookies, yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Birthday parties, holiday dinners with extended family, graduation parties-so many things to celebrate.
Well…things are about to change. We currently have a high school senior and a college senior, and an already moved out and employed teacher. We know from experience these next few months will fly by. And though our nest won’t be immediately empty, that is the direction we are rapidly heading.
Gart and I have talked many times about preparing for this next stage in life. He would even joke and tell the kids we were going to buy a tiny house or move to a loft apartment downtown. Neither of those is going to happen, but we are preparing to buy another house and sell this one.
Right now my thoughts are mostly in the details-time frame, moving boxes, etc. But they unexpectedly drift and I find my eyes welling with tears. This happened while driving away from the home we eventually decided to buy. It’s a beautiful home, warm and cozy. I am excited. So why was I crying?
Change is like that. Even when the change is positive, it still comes with growing pains. Right now my growing pains involve how my role as a parent is changing. Since the majority of my parenting years took place in this house, leaving it will be emotional.
Sometimes when I’m at home alone, our once busy house feels like an empty shell. I’m thankful for the flood of memories that fills the empty spaces. Just as our family established traditions and made memories here, I must trust we will do the same in our new house. And as old memories travel with us and mix together with the new, a transformation will take place-one that will turn house to home.