We sold our house today.
The house we have lived in for 10 years. The house we brought all three of our babies home to. The house that hosted Christmas, birthdays, Thanksgivings, Mother's Days, Father's Days, and backyard get-togethers. The house we bought, fresh faced and full of excitement about what the next decade would bring to us, never in a million years guessing how blessed our years here would be. The house that we've painted, carpeted, fireplaced, ripped apart and put back together, built a deck onto, put a water heater and furnace into, re-roofed, re-seeded, re-graded, re-applianced. The house we delightedly discovered on the day of our closing already had hyacinths and lilacs and then we planted our peonies, our forsythia bushes, and our hostas. The house that has two of the prettiest, most majestic maple trees you've ever seen in the front yard, maple trees that have marked the seasons for the last 10 years.
The house that has been our home for a whole decade of our lives.
I know- I truly do- this is a giant leap forward for our family, but in this brief space of selling our home and not yet finding our next one, all I feel is sad. Sad about what I'm giving up, leaving behind, will never do again. I went for a walk today with Jenna and Alec in the middle of our offer-and-counteroffer dance and felt overwhelmingly sad about future walks not including the familiar sights of our street. I know my neighbors, know their stories, know what they've done to their houses, know their families; I know the road and the potholes and sewer drains and trees and gardens along our familiar route that we've walked with all of our kids. What if the new people do something to my house? What if they re-side it, or, worse yet, re-side it in a color I don't like? What if they rip out my side garden? What if they- I can hardly bear to think of it- cut down my maple trees???
Will they love my house? Will they take care of it? Will they host parties and show it off and have kids to run around and laugh and squeal in the yard?
I have lived in the same square mile since I was 10 years old. Except when I went to college and lived in three different apartments with Dan when we were first married, I have made the same turns to get home and gone through the same intersections for about 20 years. When we bought this house, it gave me intense psychological pleasure to turn off the main road onto the same one I had turned with my parents for 8 years.
Turning onto Orchard Street meant I was coming home. And now, it won't.
A few years ago, my mom got us a precious gift: a pen and ink drawing of this house. We immediately hung it up and love looking at it every day. I am so glad that we can bring that with us wherever we end up, a reminder of where we started, the house that we used to eat dinner every night pre-kids at the coffee table in the living room, sitting on the floor, watching tv, and ended up, ten years later, sitting every night at the dining room table, a family of five, even little Alec sitting tall and straight and proud in his booster seat, all eating and laughing and talking at once about the best and worst parts of the day.
We have lived, loved, and laughed in this house and it will be part of our history forever.