Moving on

I leave this house a week from tomorrow.

When Eliza, Zoe and I leave it, it will look like it does now. Like our home. It will be full of our things and our lives. It will look like we could come home to it at any moment.

I will pack only a suitcase (or two).

While Eliza, Zoe and I spend a month at my parents' lake houses in Vermont, CG will be helping the packers and movers, flying to Virginia to paint rooms and unload furniture and make beds, coming to Vermont for a week of much deserved vacation before we all arrive in Virginia toward the end of August, ready to start our new lives there.

I wonder how long it will be before it really, truly sinks in that I will not ever be coming back to this house. Even when our furniture is set up in our new house in Virginia, I don't know if it'll ever register that there isn't still this house, just as I see it now, stuffed with our things, waiting for us to come home.

The changes have been coming for a long time now. We've known "Virginia", "small town", "new house" were all in our future. We've had months and months to prepare. I've spent countless hours studying pictures of our new house. I've planned color schemes and sewn duvet covers. We've picked out paint colors, ordered some new furniture and mentally repurposed our bookshelves and rugs and lamps.

I still can't wrap my head around it.

This home, our first home, will no longer be ours.

I've been weepy about leaving for weeks. It is too small. We're outgrowing it; we'd need to move anyway I tell myself as the tears roll down my cheeks.

I remember walking into our living room for the first time, its robin's egg blue walls- and ceiling- greeting me like a boisterous HELLO!

I was wearing a robin's egg blue shirt that day. It seemed like destiny (though we did repaint it a slightly lighter, calmer shade of blue).

We brought our first baby into this home when I had our second baby in my belly.

We brought our second

and our third babies home to this house.

It feels like this house contains their babyhoods. In my photos and memories, their important moments are colored by the walls behind them, by the view past their faces to the walls and floors and spaces we have loved and banged our fists against and wept on.

I will miss so much about this house. The lawn we replanted (twice) where Zoe learned to walk (and steal dog toys).

Also, the hallway where Zoe learned that Sweet Dog prefers the blue sippy cup.

I will miss even the things that drive me crazy, like our sole tiny bathroom, where Zoe was potty trained, where I labored with Eliza, where Zoe sings whatever top 40 song we've been dancing to lately while she washes her hands. (Though I don't think Beyonce sings "and then you squeeze them, squeeze them".)

I know that a bigger, in many ways better, house awaits us in Virginia. I just hope it doesn't take too long to feel like home.


artemisia said...

This is a big, big change. I think you are open to it, though.

Marie Green said...

Oh, man, I remember moving out of our first (also tiny) home too. It was where we met! And got engaged! And got pregnant! WITH TWINS! We brought them home to that house and became a family there.

By the time we moved, I really hated that house (for reason related only to the structure of the building, not anything listed above). But our first night in our new home I let myself cry a little bit, mostly over closing that first chapter of our lives once and for all.

I DO love our new home, and honestly, it felt like "home" from our first night here.

Also, you have the sweetest moving deal I have EVER heard of!! I want to move like that, if we ever do it again. ;)

Astarte said...

Leaving houses behind is so hard. We've moved three times since Josie was born, and each time, I've walked through and cried at the emptiness. There's always been a first, or last, thing that's happened there, some ghost that will haunt the place when I'm gone. The first house we moved out of, we left a Peter Rabbit mural on the wall that DH's mother had painted for Josie, and I knew that they were planning on painting over it. It about killed me. It still pains me to think about our old house in Bowie, where Patrick was born. Sigh.

It will be nice to have you local, though!

Hillary said...

That video is just about the cutest thing ever.

As for the house ... sigh. I think what would be the hardest, and yet the easiest thing, about it is the girls probably won't have many memories of the house. Zoe might remember snatches of things --- I still remember the crystal doorknobs at the first house I lived in, which we moved out of when I was three --- but Eliza won't remember anything. To you, that house is their babyhood, but to them, it's just a place in pictures.

Enjoy your travels, and I hope the move goes smoothly.

desperate housewife said...

I often wonder how I'll feel when we move from our current home. I hope to, for sure, what with its one bathroom and the small bedrooms and the lack of dining room and the lack of c/a and the one car garage and... But still. It's where we conceived Eli. It's where we brought both babies home from the hospital. The living room floors that I paced in labor. The walls which we have painted so many colors, some already repainted two and three times in the four years we've been here! The den we spent so long remodeling. The deck Jim built himself. The rooms I've rocked babies in. Wah! It's home, and I love it, and if it weren't for space issues I think I could happily live here forever.
But home is where you make it, and where your family is. So I know your new house will feel like your home very soon. You just need a few pee accidents in the bathroom, a few spit up stains on the walls, and voila! Home sweet home.

EllenAC6 said...

I moved from California to the east coast, and now I'm in northern Virginia - NOVA we call it here. I'm actually in the Burg -Fredericksburg. I'll be happy to fill you in on all the little secrets. Invest now in some baby friendly mosquito repellant.

Kira said...

This just made me get very teary.

grammalouie said...

Kira, I got very teary too. All passages are momentous but this one is a real biggie.
J. said she would be in California "only a couple of years" - and that was in 1996 - HA!
Tomorrow I fly to California to spend a few days with her, Z & E before all four of us fly to Vermont.
An adventure for us all!
And, believe me, I'm packing plenty of tissues.

Whimsy said...

Oh this is so sweet, so very sweet.

Eleanor Q. said...

You are so brave! I'm so impressed that you're leaving your house and walking into a painted, unpacked new place. It'll be a change but you can totally do it. One day, you'll just walk in and realize, that yeah, it feels like home.

miyoko said...

i totally hear you on this post. :) it's hard, but your new place will feel like home instantly. we even were weirdly sentimental when we moved out of our tiny corporate housing/landing pad.
we miss our old place primarily only because it was the first place we owned, but still so glad we moved.

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