Life is all about transition - things change, people change, everything changes. Sometimes it's painless, and sometimes it hurts worse than anything in the world.
In a few weeks, I'll have packed up my home and had everything moved to our new house. It's one of the biggest transitions I'll ever have to deal with (second only to the births of my children) and as I look around our crowded, cluttered, two bedroom townhouse, I can't help but think of how far I've come.
We moved into this place three weeks before our wedding - the first week of June, 1997. I was 25. I worked as a junior buyer for American Cyanamid's Agricultural Research Division in Princeton. It was my first "real" job and this townhouse was my first time living away from home. It was odd at first, but between my wedding and honeymoon, moving in and getting settled, going from "Miss" to "Mrs." (I still look for my mother in law when someone calls me Mrs. It's weird.) - I never really thought about what home means.
Well, ten years have passed. Ten years. Hard to believe.
We've gone from a couple, to having two children. My husband's got a great career ahead of him (if he can stay healthy). I no longer work for American Cyanamid. American Cyanamid no longer even exists. Now, I get paid to do what I love - write romance novels. We've come a long way in the past decade. A long way, indeed.
When my daughter was born and my husband and I brought her home, the townhouse became home. I can recall with perfect clarity where I was sitting and where my husband was sitting when my daughter took her first steps. I remember because she walked from me to him. I remember when my son would roll across the living room. He never crawled. He learned to roll over, and decided that was the best way to get from Point A to Point B. Until he walked, right before his first birthday, he'd roll all over the place. It was hysterical to see, actually.
Our history lines the walls in photographs. Our wedding photos, the Girl's first photos up to her most recent school photo, the Boy's first photos (taken in my hospital room) up until our most recent family portrait. It's all right there. In another week or so, that history will go into a box and be transported 7 miles away to our new home.
It makes me sad now, to look around and know that it's coming to an end. But it's exciting as well. The memories don't change - they will go with me. And we'll build new ones as well. I'm looking so forward to it, but that doesn't mean I won't tear up when I close that front door for the last time.
We'll be back - to repaint and re-carpet and give the place a good cleaning. Then it will go up for sale. With any luck, another young couple, just starting out, will see it and decide it's just perfect for them. Then they can begin to build their own memories, until their life changes and the cycle goes on.
This has been a happy home. There's a lot of love contained in these walls. A lot of wonderful memories. Plenty of laughter. A few tears. Fights. Making up. Long nights with sick kids and long days while my husband was in the hospital.
I will miss it.