There is such happiness and heartache in moving homes. I have moved often, lived in less than ideal habitats, been ‘in-between homes’ more than a few times, and shared my groceries with mice in London flats. Which might be why I always looked forward to a fresh start. When my husband and I started looking to buy our very first home in San Diego, I was so excited just to have a home. So much so, that we overlooked a few minor character flaws about the home we choose. We had hoped the neighborhood would improve and that we would be able to paint over the hideous green walls among other things. After four and a half years at our house, we decided it was time to give our boys better. As excited as I was to find the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood, I couldn’t help but sob when we handed the keys over. I had spent the previous week getting the house ready for it’s new family and it was such a hard thing to do. Each room held such vivid memories and such a special place in my heart.
As I moved through the house cleaning each room, I couldn’t help but relive all the memories each one brought. The velveeta yellow colored bathroom when we first moved in has thankfully been painted over, but I saw yellow peeking through today as I was cleaning under the sink. Wiping down the walls in my kids’ blue room where the big one picked out the color and hung a pirate flag. The front door the oldest one opened randomly one day when he was 15 months old and walked outside right in front of us like he was going to work. The fence we shared with Carmen and Graham that we passed many meals back and forth and even more bottles of wine. Patching the holes in the wall that held pictures of my family. The hardwood floor that both of my babies took their first steps on. Cleaning out the oven where I baked sweet potatoes for both my boys’ first bites of real food. Patching up the holes that held the kids’ footprints we stamped on canvas. Tidying up the corner that held the chalkboard where they both learned how to draw. Scrubbing the closet that was my very first home office. Taking down the backdrops in a teeny tiny home studio my husband built just for me, I still remember what it looked like as our old garage. The bathroom I came running out of with a positive pregnancy test that was the beginning of Everett James. Packing the stereo away that provided so much love during the holidays and every day really. Cleaning out the drawer that held our Christmas cookie cutters. Wiping down the corner that held our family's first Christmas tree, picturing DG full of wonder hanging ornaments and candy canes. The sheet we used to hang in the backyard and watch movies on in the summer is washed and put away. My little garden without any plants. All of the plants died when I went home to Ohio last year as my grandma was dying. I didn't have the heart to replant it. The tangerine tree that we were gifted when we moved in and the peach tree that brought us so much fruit over the years. I can still hear my boys’ laughter in the yard. Still remember where they skinned their knees in the driveway. Charlotte, The beautiful spider we used to watch night after night spin her web. The sharpee Daniel decided to draw on our door has barely faded, we'll have to leave that as a memento of our time here. The counter where we placed our first family Thanksgiving turkey on and the ensuing riot when Kismet decided to grab a turkey leg and run like the wind. The couch and walls Dax chewed off when he was just a few months old when we were at the birthing center having Daniel. The old claw foot bathtub that we filled with hot water and eucalyptus to nurse our babies’ first colds. The closet my husband built from scratch for our boys is bare now. The kitchen counter my husband would pick me up and put me on to give me a big kiss after work. I can still see the slip and slide and kiddie pool even though they've long since been packed away. Disinfecting the countertops where my grandma and I made jello the very last time she visited California before she passed away. This is the last house my grandma came to visit us in, I feel like I'm abandoning her memory too here. The sunsets we watched from our beautiful porch. I will miss them the most.
We brought both of our babies home here. Measured their height on the wall here. They are as much a part of this home as any of us.
I feel like with each wall I'm washing, I'm erasing a memory. Like the house is healing itself to make way for new memories from a new family. I know it is only a vessel. I know the love that existed here exists within my heart and within my family. But it doesn't mean I'll miss the ugly-as-sin green walls any less.
Come join me on a new journey in my family's life. Follow along here at The Misadventures of Los Dos and the Smith Family Circus.