We said goodbye to our old home on Monday. Over the weekend we moved all of the big things and a lot of the little things. I don’t consider myself a cluttered person, but by the time we packed the last belonging into the car I felt like a hoarder. Where and how do we accumulate so much stuff? If moving doesn’t force a person to contemplate a minimalist lifestyle, I don’t know what else would.
It is impossible, of course, to neatly pack up your memories of a place. We walked through the rooms one last time.
Elena found the shaft of sunlight and lingered for a bit. She was just four when we moved in, and we painted her room pink and green. She had a dollhouse and piles of Polly Pockets. Now it is blue, a color she picked out herself. I didn’t box up a single doll, instead I packed posters of boy bands and bottles of nail polish.
This was the only bedroom Eli has ever known. I used to change his diaper right where he’s sitting. From where I sat to take his picture I nursed him to sleep. I swaddled him like a tightly packed burrito until he was seven months old. Now it’s impossible to contain those arms and legs and his imagination.
My friend Sacha asked if I had mixed feelings. I don’t really. I know that a house is only a part of us. There will be things that I miss, and I will always have happy memories of this house. But I also know that it’s time for a change, and that no matter where we end up, home is where the three people I love the most live with me.
Right now that means home is in our friends’ house. I feel incredibly lucky to be where we are. We have a cozy kitchen with food to cook and dishes to eat on. Elena and Eli each have their own bedroom. Yes, there are boxes piled high along the walls. Yes, we have inconveniences. Yes, we are a bit discombobulated. But the right people are here, inside these four walls. And spring, and a new home waiting for new memories to be made, is right around the corner.