The moment I first drove by our house eight years ago, I knew it was the one.
The “For Sale” sign lingered at the end of the road, calling me. Impulsively, I followed it, my stomach tingling with the feeling that our search was over. And I was right. Just down the road from my parents, with land for our kids to play on, a finished basement that made a perfect playroom, and apple trees that bore the weight of their harvest that year, I immediately felt at home. Pregnant with our second child at the time, I clearly saw the memories our new house would hold: kids running and laughing around the living room, a stove simmering with soup and good flavors, nights spent lounging in front of the fire.
I had zero hesitation about buying that house (oh, the determination of a nesting pregnant mama!), but I was also positive that it would be our starter home. I knew our “real” home would come later, and that when that time came, I’d be more than ready to move on. “Oh, we’ll be in here three … five years tops,” I told my parents with a wave of my swollen hand. Ha.
It’s funny how wrong a 23-year-old can be, isn’t it? I was so sure about a lot of things back then. And while I applaud the early-20s version of myself for pushing so hard to buy that house, I also wish she would have slowed her roll on declaring how quickly she intended to leave it.
Because back then I never could have predicted, just how my heart would break at the very prospect of leaving the place where I brought my babies home. I never could have predicted almost eight years ago, just how many memories would be created in this very house.
I didn’t know then what it would feel like to rock four babies to sleep within its quiet walls. To watch three children take their first steps across this very living room. To leave the yard where my kids ran and played, rolled down hills, and collected acorns and walnuts from our trees.
I could have never known how hard it would be to leave the place where I raised my babies. And now that we are moving, my heart is breaking.