In a few days we’ll be moving to India. 8197 miles away from what we currently call home.
We’re excited about new adventures. We feel like it’s a God thing and a good thing for our family.
And yet, every morning, I wake up in a tangle of emotions. Before my eyes open and my thoughts focus, my stomach feels like I’m on a boat. One that’s on really choppy water.
Then I realize my topsy-turvyness is partly due to the fact that I have to say goodbye. Goodbye to some very dear people and places – and to our first home.
We’re handing the keys over to folks who don’t know our home or how special it is to us. It feels a little like letting a teenager babysit your kids for the first time. And then walking away forever. (Yeah, okay, I’m being dramatic. But this feels huge, people)
The buyers won’t know about the newlyweds who got their first set of house keys ten years ago. Of shuttling to Ikea and convincing ourselves that our new furniture looked “grown up.”
They’ll be clueless about the babies burped in the nursery. Of pack-n-plays and obnoxiously loud toys and baby gates that laid claim to our little house. About the bellies that were tickled and boo-boos that were magically kissed away.
They’ll enjoy the plush family room carpets, but won’t know that the old carpet was replaced only because of too many puke, poop and pee incidents to count. They won’t remember the wrestling matches on that carper or the pointy legos that were stepped on or the errant Cheerios that escaped the vacuum, only to be found months later, on that very same carpet.
If walls could talk they would tell stories of fights and giggles, bedtime stories and little voices thanking Jesus for the day gone by. They would tell of feet padding down the hallway to report bad dreams and I-need-waters and I-can’t-sleeps.
About countless family meals in our little breakfast nook where there was sometimes more food on the floor than the plate. Of the worried conversations of two young parents wondering how they’ll manage two kids under 18 months old. And, boy, would those walls be familiar with the corners those same two kids were banished to – so they “think about” their crimes and its consequences.
There would be tales of loud Christmas parties with Santa hurriedly dressing in the closet and toddlers screaming in terror at the sight of the big, bearded stranger.
Come spring, the new home owners will marvel at the white cherry blossom in the backyard, but won’t know of our popcorn replicas or our other (eatable) art projects. Or the flour storms and egg yolks plopping on the kitchen counters when the kids “helped” with the baking. Or birthday parties where ninjas and superheros graced our portals.
They won’t know about evenings of crashing on the couch with ice-cream, Netflix and the joy of knowing the kids are fast asleep and all’s well with the world.
But they’ll make their own memories. Some will be unexpected. They’ll soon discover that one bedroom is always too hot or too cold. They’ll find that the house, which may have begun as their dream home, is somewhat ahem…let’s say “condensed.” They’ll find there’s not enough storage and – where in the world are they supposed to stick all those bagels from Costco? And if only there was one more bedroom.
But they’ll make sweet memories too. Their version of them. And they’ll make the house their home.
Because a home is really not about the square footage or granite counters or linen closets. It’s listening to your husband sing hopelessly off-key while he rocks the baby to sleep. It’s tucking the kids in one last time. It’s enjoying the everyday-ness of it.
It’s waking up, thankful for the blessing of family.
Because no matter where your house is, home is where family is.
Even 8197 miles away. And sometimes the best journeys take you home.
PS: My apologies for the Hallmarky post. Funny will be back another season of my life.