We have thirty days to pack up and say goodbye to the house that we’ve rented for seven years.
We’ve known for as long as we’ve been here that this was meant to be temporary; one step of many that we have, and have yet, to take.
And yet as I type this, my triple threat runs around the back yard, climbing the “dirt tree” that they will surely miss. Checking the hollowed-out stump for toads “one last time” before we move to – what they’re convinced – will be a toadless town. Scootering up and down our quiet dead-end street – the street they learned to ride their bikes on – dreading the moment they have to say goodbye to their “nextdoor Grandma and Grandpa” – the retired couple that lives next door.
And I’m inside, cramming things into boxes – overcome with an emotion I can only describe as grief. Grief for all of the intangible things that I can’t take from this house.
This house, the house that we brought our twins home to – to a pink and blue room that I exclaimed would be perfect for one of each as I unknowingly carried just that combination in my newly pregnant womb when we first laid eyes on the place. The house that my oldest daughter became a big sister in. The one that housed their first steps and first words. Where my husband and I have argued and overcame and became the parents of three in. The house that holds all of our spills – milk, tears, down the basement stairs. The one where there’s penciled measurements in the hallways. The house that she has learned to read in. The house that he can’t wait to get home to so that he can draw and jump and clap to his heart’s content. The house that we’ve all grown up in.
Just brick, mortar, memories.