Monday, June 10, 2013

End of a chapter.

It's really bittersweet to move. I find that when this process started I was like, "I can't wait to leave and get something nicer and bigger!", but as we get closer I find myself crying thinking about the spot both kids learned to crawl, to walk. All of the hours I spent rocking in the nursery begging baby Jeebus to make the baby stop crying for just a few hours, I would sell my soul for just a few solid hours of sleep. And though this house has some bad memories, it has more good. And probably the coolest thing is to think back to where we were when this started.

When Matt and I got married in 2004, we lived in a one bedroom apartment. We loved that apartment. I cried very hard for a long time leaving that apartment because it was a sign of everything I had become. I literally came into adulthood there and made some huge decisions. But six months after getting married I was pregnant with Olivia and we knew we had to get a house. It was time to be real grown ups.

We went on the search with our sad little $80,000 budget and found exactly two houses that were not in the ghetto and in our range. The first one was in East End and looked rough on the outside. The inside was nice but  the five feet of standing water in the basement was a bit of a deal breaker. We left there feeling a little discouraged, but when we saw this house in South End? I knew. I just knew it was the one. Sure, it looked absolutely ghetto fabulous on the outside with it's "siding" that looked like shingles full pecked by birds and other animals. Sure, the fence was falling down and the bushes were out of control. Sure, the front door didn't even shut all the way nevermind lock. Sure, it was so disgusting, foul, and filthy through and through. Sure, it had a bathtub I could barely get into because it was so tall and a garden house duct taped to the ceiling for a shower.

But I just knew that this was going to be ours. And after a few months, it was. We moved in a little before our first wedding anniversary and my six month pregnancy milestone.
People said we just flushed $75,000 down the toilet. The wondered what we were thinking. But we were determined to make this our home. And we did. 

Then we had Olivia in September. I can't even tell you how many hours of my life I spent in a rocking chair, but it was a lot. I wore a spot on the floor and I can tell you where every squeak is in this house. I would spend hours crying as I'm trying to rock her and stare out her window to the yard and sometimes I would feel a calm come right over me.

 I would spend hours walking the neighborhood with her and from day one, it felt like home. It felt like this was where we were meant to be.

 Even Lenny agreed- this house was IT. He really loved the apple tree.

Matt I learned a lot about ourselves, marriage, parenthood in this house. We fought, we cried, we almost got divorced, and then baby #2 was on his way.
And I spent even more time in the rocking chair. This is the only home our children have ever known. We really struggled with the decision whether to move or not and while I joke it's because of Olivia's atrocious renditions of Taylor Swift songs on her karaoke machine, it's because we've outgrown it. We can't add on, we've filled this house to the brim. And my heart really does break a little when I think about what we will be leaving behind. Sure, our new house is a little nicer, it's a lot bigger, it has more room for growth. But it won't have the memories that have gotten us here.

Awhile ago Jackson and I had a conversation about moving. He's pretty excited to have a closet in his new room, but he's a pretty sensitive little guy. He's very thoughtful and caring. His biggest concern? Leaving Lenny. Yes, he's worried about leaving our dead cat who is buried under our beloved apple tree. We always told our kids that Lenny went to Kitty Heaven and you can talk to him anytime- he hears us and will be there when we get there someday.

Jackson is worried that if we leave this house, Lenny will think we don't love him anymore and maybe we could just bring him with us?I had to creatively think of a way out of this that didn't involve bringing the carcass of a dead animal in a Uhaul so I told him that really, it's just a secret door under there. That once Daddy covered him up, a secret door opens and Lenny went through it... so he's not under there anymore.

(Life lesson- parenting is all about creative lying on demand.)

But here we are. We are literally on the cusp of moving to an unknown. For all of the headaches this house gave us, for all of the countless trips to Home Depot and all night home improvement projects, for nothing ever being the way it should have been tacking extra time and money onto every project (even changing light bulbs),  and for every time I've wanted to walk away because I didn't think we'd get through it- I'm going to miss this house. I really will. I hope we have just as many awesome memories in the new one. I hope I don't regret leaving this house someday. I hope the next person loves this house as much as we have. I hope the next person has even better memories than us.

And I hope they don't ever cut the apple tree down because that will be a really difficult day. I'm just being honest.

So if you don't hear from me for a little while- I'll be without internet, I'll be hauling boxes, and I'll probably be crying. But I'll be back. With pictures and optimism for a new future. But until then, Matt and I will be spending our 9th wedding anniversary loading a Uhaul and cleaning our home for the very last time. It seems almost fitting, really.


Shooting Stars Mag said...

Congrats on the new house. I'm sure it's tough leaving a place that really is HOME and the only one the kids know. But I'm sure everyone will soon love the new place.


Jandy xx said...

oh, i know exactly how you feel. i couldnt imagine anyone living in MY house after i sold it, although mainly bad memories, there were so many other things i didnt want to give up.

but i can tell you that nearly two years on, i don't miss it at all (well sometimes i get a little sentimental for it!) and it took me months to do a drive by but when i did, it made me think of all the things that annoyed me about the place rather than the things i thought i couldnt live without!

wishing you all the best for your move, as you begin to make a whole new chapter worth of awesome memories xx

Ruth said...

You said how I know I would feel if we ever moved. I cuss this run-down house with not enough kitchen space and say the only thing I like is the land that goes with the house. But, I'd miss the house. My daughter has spent most of her life here. Change is good, but it can be hard.
Good luck with your move and Happy Anniversary.

Danielle said...

Good luck! I can't wait to read and see all about the move. I'm sure everything will go smooth - right? Right! ;) And Happy Anniversary :) Good luck in the new chapter of your life! :)

Steff said...

I hope the move goes smoothly, congrats!