Sunday, March 6, 2016

Our Home Sweet Home is For Sale

Eight years ago we moved into this home seven days before my daughter's first birthday. She took her first steps in the kitchen--trying to get to the watermelon I balanced on a chair. We wrapped up her first birthday, Mother's Day, and my mother's birthday into one small brunch. In the photo from that day, my stomach is already round--I was four months pregnant with my first son.

Since those first few weeks, we've celebrated so much: countless birthdays, seven Polish Christmas Eve wigilias, class parties, family reunions with grandparents and great-grandparents. The other side of the spectrum crept in, too. My husband and I had some serious arguments, several yelling matches, a small handful of nights where one of us slept somewhere other than our shared bed. We had two dogs that trotted along these hard woods, but now we have just one.

This is our home. But in a few hours the Open House sign will have balloons on it and we'll invite strangers to walk through these memory-filled rooms and imagine making their own lives here. They'll walk into my daughter's room and it might be perfect for their teenage son. The kitchen where Lorelei first walked might get torn down and rebuilt by the end of the year.

As an "Army brat" who moved around, I understand that living in most houses is temporary. You move on to the next one without getting too attached to the one you're in. There's a whole fleet of people on an Army post that keep your house in tip-top shape. My dad didn't even own a toolbox until he got out of the Army--there was always somebody to call who would fix whatever the problem was.

Reflecting on these eight years and the prospect of selling and moving the only home my kids have ever known, I realize that my sentimental attachments to these rooms do exist. But the memories--really, both good and bad--that we've made here have been appreciated.

Having said that, I will still cry like a baby when we drive away in June.

5 comments:

  1. Sounds like your family has made a lot of wonderful memories in that house. Look forward to the new memories you will make in your new one!

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  2. My parents spent 35 years in one house--my sisters and I all grew up there. When they sold us, we girls were all so sad, but my parents were surprisingly cheerful about it. I think they understood what you do--it's the people and the memories, not the actual place, that matter.

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  3. As you know, our farm, our family home of 23 years was on the market last year. The memories in that place were everywhere I looked. As I pulled the door shut for the last time, crying like a baby would be an understatement...but, I didn't look back as we drove out the driveway and I told the kids to do the same (they were born there and drove out in their own cars, how amazing!). And I still haven't looked back but have still the loveliest of memories. Good luck with the open house, I know it can feel like a real invasion of privacy. :)

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  4. We just sold our house this past fall and I experienced similar feelings...right down to being a military brat myself (Coast Guard) and moving as a child every few years! It feels so different moving out of a house that I lived in as an adult for 13 years with my own family. Great post and good luck with your own move!

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  5. Every home has new memories to find. It actually helps to solidify some memories, I've found. Since we've lived in a number of houses over the years, I can get a better timeline on when something happened by remembering which house we lived in when we did something memorable!
    Good luck on your move. We'll be doing it again this summer if the renovations get finished on time.

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