This Old House

The girl is napping. Mom is at work. All is quiet. And it is in these quiet moments that it hits me – we are leaving this house.

We’ve only been here 5 years, but the memories these walls hold seem to encompass a lifetime. This was our first house. The house that, when purchased off a 94 year old woman, had so much potential. New paint here, redo the cupboards there. My first lawn to mow. Our first garden to tend. The first nursery to paint.

This is the only home the girl has known, and at almost 2 she doesn’t quite understand what is going on. She is tender. Over and over she asks “Mommy coming, Daddy coming, Baby coming?” to which we respond, “Yes, yes and yes. Everybody is coming to the new house.” She is still for a moment. Then it starts again, this time with an emphatic nodding of her head, “Mommy coming, Daddy coming, Baby coming?”

Our first house. Her only house.

The reasons are valid: not enough space, a backyard that remains flooded from November to March, no dining room, too much tripping over each other. Yet it is still sad to leave the memories, like walking into this house with the girl the very first time. That moment when her Mom and I exchanged a sideways glance that we both knew meant, “This is it. We’re on our own. Now what?” I never knew one glance could reveal so much information.

This is the bedroom where we first stayed up all night with a sick girl, throwing up over and over and forcing us to cancel a (rare) planned weekend trip away from home that we had both been looking forward to. Another sideways glance. Ah well, I guess this is what being a parent is all about.

The backyard where last summer the girl found the garden hose, squeezed the trigger and turned it on full force blasting her unsuspecting Dad in the back with a frigid squirt of icy cold water that, in the hot July sun, felt like heaven.

Goodbye old house. You have been very good to us.

Hello new home. A new home, waiting to be filled new memories. Perhaps bringing home a new baby and crossing a new threshold – this time secure in the knowledge that we can do it.

3 responses to “This Old House

  1. We’ve got to move in the next 2 years due to space issues… we’ll feel like you, maybe worse. We’ve been in this FIRST house for 8-1/2 years so far… 10 when we give it up. Lotsa memories.

  2. It is a tough thing to do. I remember when my wife and I moved back to Maine after living in Ohio. We were so ready to leave and get out of there but driving out of the driveway that last time I couldn't help but feel real sad. It was where we made a lot of our first memories as a family. But don't worry… look to the future. Things will look bright soon.

  3. we’re now in our 6th year of our first house (as owners) and I really have no plans to ever move again. We moved a lot between various rentals from the time my daughter was born and it is exhausting. Fortunately we found a great house — old, needed and needs lots of work, but plenty of space to expand into, decent yard (for city) and very conveniently located. My kids were 8 and 5 when we moved here, so this will really be the place they remember as “home” when they grow up. And as I tell them, they’ll be the ones who’ll have to come and move everything out of it cause I ain’t going nowhere except in a pine box!

    Good luck with your move!