Today we are moving to a rental house so we can renovate our home in preparation for it to be sold. I am screaming at my kids. And stomping through mountains of suitcases and boxes. All unnecessarily. Whatever you do, don’t visit me today. Or call me. Moving is making me mad. Why?
At 3am this morning I faced the cold dark reality. I don’t want to move. I woke up and walked through a silent house. Through the office where handpainted planets dangle from the ceiling and tin foil rainbow fish swim – all relics of our Homeschool adventures. Past the bedroom doorway that still bears the teeth marks where a 2 yr old Sade bit the wall when she was mad at me. Down a hallway that a 5 year old Jade kept running up and down delightedly when we first moved in, exclaiming, “wow this house is soooo big! I can run and run and jump and play, its huuuuge!” Past the bathroom tiled in white from top to toe. Because I saw all-white bathrooms in Vogue House and Garden and thought they were sooooo beautiful. And so I begged Darren to do the same for us. And I have spent the last 9 years hating it. Because it’s a nightmare to keep clean and obviously white people in Vogue magazine don’t have dirty brown children with dirty brown feet who insist on going to the bathroom every time they are in the middle of a grungy game of mud slide outside.
Past walls lined with illegal pencil scribbles courtesy of Bella the Beast. And paintings by me and the Fabulous Five. Through to the living room. There’s the blue lazyboy chair that I rocked children on and fed colicky babies on. ( did you know that if you recline the chair just right it will continue rocking with a minimum of effort and you can fall asleep with a still wide awake baby in the crook of your arm meaning you just might be able to fool them into thinking you are still conscious and paying attention to them?) There’s the weary old sofa that Darren bought us ten years ago when we decided NOT to get divorced and instead celebrated our commitment to NEWness by buying furniture. And the leather living room set that knocked my socks off two years ago when I went to the store to buy bread the day before Xmas – and came home to find it resplendent in all its richness and glory – a surprise gift from a truly amazing husband. How many times have children clambered over that sofa? How many times have we all sat in this room and had Family home evening? (or tried to anyway) How many movies have we watched together right here? How many times has my yelling and nagging resounded through these four walls?
I paused to sit at the dining table. If anywhere can be called the nerve center of the house – it would have to be right here. Here we rolled out pizza bases. And cinnamon rolls. We did homework, agonizing over times tables and spelling words. We ate countless dinners of rice and tuna followed by three different kinds of pie and ice cream. ( so I hate to cook but am a woman possessed when it comes to baking dessert…) We finger painted. Had friends over. Dissected a fish for homeschool science. I want to cry. Where will i ever find another table as loaded with memories as this one?
I don’t want to leave our home. This is the house me and Darren designed ourselves from nothing but dreams. In the beginning, there was nothing here but forest. And a wild tangle of pumpkins. He cut down trees, carved a path through rock and earth, carted in brick, stone and sand. We argued over cupboards and window dimensions. Paint swatches and tiles.
Today I loaded all our precious junk and took it to a temporary house, taking the first very big step to getting on that plane on the 21st of December. I’m mad. Who’s crazy idea was it to move anyway?!