The timing – two weeks after delivering Eleanor – could only have been worse if it was two weeks before delivering Eleanor. But after being on the market for two and a half years, we weren’t going to say no.
So after weeks of packing, some pregnant and some with a newborn, countless boxes, two full days cleaning our rental house, and several days cleaning our old house… we’re out. (Not without a TON of help from my family… especially my mom who is a cleaning madwoman and easily has more energy than I do and who I will never be able to thank enough).
Leaving was harder than I thought it would be. It was hard even though I’ve felt let down when showings produced nothing and previous house offers fell through. And even though I was excited when this one was going through and I know being closer to our work is the best thing for our family (I’ve said more than once that, when you work 8 to 5 and can potentially see your kids for three hours of the day, driving for one of them is too much).
And yet, as I walked through the empty treehouse… I stopped in the living room and remembered laboring on the couch through the night with all three of my kids, the late-night breastfeeding, the boys laying on their play mats as babies and building railroads as toddlers; I stopped at Oliver’s room and thought of him as a toddler, sleeping in his big boy bed for the first time; I stopped at the bathroom and remembered laboring in my (super sweet) claw foot tub for the boys; I stopped at the nursery that was the bedroom I brought all three of my babies home to. Yeah, I cried.
There are other factors too. Even though I’m only 25 minutes away, it will seem like light years away from my family, most of whom won’t be able to just stop in on their way by anymore. And moving to a new town means losing the boys’ sitter – the wonderful woman that has watched them since Oliver was one year old and all the little friends that the boys have made. Jean is impossible to replace so it’s a big loss to our family. And leaving my little town isn’t so easy either – there’s just something about the closeness and camaraderie of a small town that makes me feel comfortable and safe.
So ALL of that has made this week an emotional one. And I’m exhausted.
After picking the boys up yesterday, we went back to the house. I wanted the boys to walk through the empty house, for closure and to understand that we wouldn’t be going back (Oliver walked in and said, “What?!” and Emery said, “Listen to the echos!”). I’m still waiting for one of them to say, “I want to go back to the old house” but they seem really excited about the new bedrooms and seeing their toys in a different place.
We are just renting so this isn’t a permanent stop but I hope the kids’ drawing and the excitement means that they will be happy here for as long as this is our home, and that it treats us half as well as the last one did. And that, for every memory wrapped up in the treehouse, we’ll try to make two more here.