It’s official: we’re moving. Not that it wasn’t official before, but now everything is loaded on the van and my house is empty except for our suitcases. No going back.
There were tears. Mostly when I thought about all the love that has happened here. Memories of the boys, in their footy jammies, toddling around and hiding under the table. Thinking of the way Bug used to scoop me up and set me down on the counter so we could see eye-to-eye. Remembering they way we always stood at the top of the stairs and sang, “Be good. Be careful. Don’t do bad things. I looooove you,” whenever someone left for work or school.
Those are the kind of memories that hurt in that so-good-I-wish-I-could-have-this-feeling-every-moment-of-every-day way.
Five generations of Bug’s family – including our boys – have lived here. I believed I’d die in this house and that’s what I wanted – to have found a place I could stay forever, with my family. Maybe it’s because when I was younger, I moved around a lot: Two different first grades; three different second grades; two different high schools; three colleges. I thought was destined for a life as a vagabond. But we lived here nearly twelve years – longer than I’ve lived anywhere else in my entire life.
This was home.
Until it wasn’t anymore.
So off we go, in search of the Great Perhaps. And even though I’m sure I’ll cry more, I’m going to keep the sage words of the five-year-old Colonel in mind, “We aren’t a family if we’re not together.”
And as I sit here, in this empty house, with my kids playing baseball in the living room, laughing, and Bug rubbing my foot, I know he’s right.
Home is where they are.