Just days away from moving to the farm, I’m left with mixed feelings. Tonight I unloaded the dishwasher into the cabinets, the cabinets we screwed into these walls ourselves during our kitchen remodel just a few years ago, and I wondered why I didn’t just load our glasses and plates into boxes instead. It felt good to load up these shelves one last time, even if it was silly.
This is just a house. There are probably a hundred almost identical to it in our very neighborhood. Tri-levels are fairly stupid designs. Small rooms, split apart on three different levels, almost no storage to speak of. But I proposed to Audra in the room that is now my son’s bedroom. I learned how to mud drywall and wire outlets in my kitchen. I built my first building in the backyard. We brought our son home from the hospital here and have since spent countless sleep-deprived nights, changed hundreds of diapers, and laughed a thousand laughs at the joys that he brings to our lives. It’s just a house, but we’ve created one helluva home for us out of it.
So while I can’t wait to move out to the farm and onto the next chapter of our lives, I’m sad to leave this place that has meant so much to us these past seven years. I was just talking to my mom a couple days ago about how strangely sentimental we all seem to get regarding our stupid collections of stuff. And it’s true, we all assign more meaning to our things than we probably should. I continue to be guilty of that. This house is just a collection of 2 x 4s, vinyl siding, and some asphalt shingles (brand new ones, in fact, whose cost were certainly not reflected in our selling price). While I’d like to be able to romanticize this thing I’ve poured so much time and money and care into, the reality is that I wouldn’t have wanted to do any of that if I hadn’t been here with the people I’ve walked these floors with.
But I still thirst for the stories that go along with all this stuff that follows us through our lives.
For the past few months, after I leave in the morning, my son finds my headphones and then runs to this empty phone jack in the wall of our bedroom. And for, I don’t even know how long each morning, he plugs my headphones into the phone jack. Over. And over. And over again. I’ve stopped putting them away, instead I just start looking for them in the wall, and I’ve found that it saves me time in the long run.
I’m not sure where I’ll store my headphones in the farmhouse. And I’m not sure what new idiosyncrasies the new house will reveal and facilitate in my son. But even as I’m hesitant to give up the safety of the home we now know, I’m ready to work on all the weirdness that comes next for our family.
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