Saturday, April 24, 2010

Another Saturday night, and I ain't got nobody....

Tonight is the last Saturday night living in my house.  This is so strange.  I never imagined leaving this house.  I spent too much time waiting to live in it.

Back in 1999 when we were building, I had a lot of expectations. I can remember standing in the dirt in the middle of our empty lot and thinking, wow, in a few months, I'll actually be standing in the space that will occupy my master bedroom. It was a strange, surreal feeling to know that I would soon be a home owner, living out a reality that then was only a dream.

I feel like I am doing that in reverse now that we are selling this house. It is a little like giving away one of my children (or at least a cat; I think parting with a child would be much more devastating than moving!). But all the same, we have lived here for over 10 years. We've been visiting this very spot for nearly 11, since we first discovered this emerging neighborhood on the side of a windy, rocky hill. I find myself stopping in certain places, remembering what happened before.

Like the night Shane and I brought Wendy's hamburgers and fries over when the house was almost completed. It was the first time we saw our carpet, and to celebrate, we made a little picnic on the floor in the exact spot where our bed would later stand. Our view of the Salt Lake Valley was unobstructed; I can still remember so vividly the lights of downtown sparkling in the distance.

Or another time when we came out in the middle of the night to mark where our (future) recessed lights would go (5 of them!) and the chandelier in the kitchen nook. We drew circles on the floor after carefully measuring the exact middle of each room. People told me it would be awful and glaring; instead, my kitchen is bright and warm and inviting and I always know exactly what I'm looking at.

There was the time we drove over after a party at a friend’s. We sat on the unfinished porch and listened to the night, the stars illuminating the then-unfamiliar Oquirrh Mountains in the distance. That was one of the warmest November's that I can remember. It may have been only 5 minutes that we sat, or it could have been an hour, but it was a moment I'll never forget.

I walk into Thomas' bedroom and think of the table of hand-me-down baby clothes that I washed and folded months before I was even thinking of getting pregnant. Or sitting on the couch in what was then the TV room but would later become Ben's bedroom. Thomas rolled over for the first time right there in that very room.

I brought both of my babies home here. I nursed both of them from the same rocking chair that now sits in my living room (and had sat in my mother-in-law's living room before that.) I can walk around at night in the dark and not bump into things. I know when certain slants of light will illuminate a room, even for only a few minutes in the morning or night for a few days of the year. It is home.

But home is also these boys, and these cats, and this stuff that I will pack and move with me. As long as I have my family, I can live without all the stuff. My house isn't just the two by fours that hold up the sheetrock, or the windows that show me my lively, well-known street. My house is really just the backdrop of my life. It is the place I come to be me, to teach my children, to laugh at my husband, to clean up after my cats. I can't take the very walls and floors, but I can take my memories of it. I can leave good, happy feelings that will hopefully translate into making it happy for another family to inhabit. I hope they will love it. I hope they will take care of it. I hope that if they ever rip out all my bulbs, they will let me know.

I will miss my house, but I am getting really excited to make some new memories in my new house. I think this family is ready to share itself with another set of walls, and get to know some new sets of neighbors.

But I never knew leaving would be so hard.

5 comments:

Jeanette said...

I know exactly what you mean in this post. I have done this several times now, and it's always hard to leave and move on to bigger and better things.

But...you will still be on this rocky, windswept hill, just a little farther north =0)

Rain-drop said...

Hello,

I can relate to the sadness that comes of moving. If you feel really home at a house, it is hard to leave it. Ten years is a long time!

I hope that your kids are feeling okay about moving. I moved when I was 12, and it looks like your kids are younger, but I remember being very resentful against my own mother for "making us move" away from the friends I'd had for years. It took me a long time to get over it (ah, the teenage resentment).

I hope that your kids are excited about moving! It will be an experience. And I hope you enjoy your new house. =D

happy packing!

Jeff & Kayci said...

Good luck with everything!! I would love to see pictures, since I am not sure the next time we'll be able to stop by your house. I absolutely look forward to moving and that's probably because I don't have a real house yet. I'm happy for you and think it's really exciting:)

Isabel said...

Great post, Becky.

Like you, I was surprised at how high my emotions were when we sold our house. While it was the best thing to do, it was still a very sad and hard time for me. I was getting a new (bigger/better) house, but still, I was sad to see the old one and the memories leave me.

Apryl said...

Even when it's an exciting move, it's still a little bit heartbreaking. When we left our house, I SOBBED (pregnant + moving = emotional wreck!) Bittersweet. Sigh.