On June 30th, I moved. I packed up and left the marital home that was supposed to be where we’d raise our kids and grow old together. The home with ghosts and memories. The home where the children remembered us being a whole family. The home where we buried pets in the backyard. The home where we celebrated Christmases and Thanksgivings and Anniversaries. The home where our last child was conceived. The home where our marriage disintegrated. That home.
When we divorced, I had absolutely no desire to leave. I was determined to stay. Over time, though, it came to feel less like my home and more like the home of someone I used to be. There was a sizable financial motivator for deciding to leave a too-big house in an affluent suburb, but in time, there was a pretty recognizable emotional push as well. I’m glad I stayed for the transitional time. It made life easier for my kids and easier for me. And then one day, it was just time to go.
I had already made arrangements for moving day—called the movers, scheduled situations for the kids, taken off of work—when I realized that I was moving on the two-year anniversary of my divorce. Go figure. I didn’t plan it that way on purpose, but once I realized the date significance, I adored the symmetry of it. I felt it was an auspicious sign. June 30, 1999 was an ending. June 30, 2011, a beginning.
The move was long and tiring and stressful and draining. My parents and my sister Caroline worked long, hard hours for many days to help get me packed and moved and unpacked and arranged. My friend Mindy drove 8 hours with 3 kids to spend several days helping me pack box after box and drive carload after carload over to the new house. I’m fairly certain I’ve never been that good a relative or that good a friend to anyone. My gratitude to them is immeasurable.
My Girls’ Night Out girlfriends came over this week for an official housewarming party. I’ve written of them before, and of how finding their friendship has been one of the blessings of my divorce. (Interestingly, when I went back and looked up the post I wrote after one of my first nights out with them, I described the feeling of spending time with them as the feeling of being home. Hmm. Symmetry.) They brought wine and food and the gift of a chiminea, which I absolutely cannot wait to use once my skin doesn’t melt the moment I walk outside.
And my new house? I LOVE my new house. I am stunned by how well my furniture and my family fit into it. It seems tailor-made for us. (Granted, I have 1500 square feet of excess belongings that fit in the larger home but not in the smaller that are currently residing in my garage and awaiting cooler weather for a yard sale, and I’m a bit tired of parking outside in the 110 F heat, but c’est la vie. Minor details.) People keep expressing their amazement at what a good fit this new house is for us, at how they like it better than my old house, at how it’s just … just right. And it is. Want to see?
Ok, that’s enough…. Actually, YES, there *are* more photos of my new house, thank you for asking! But really, I feel I’ve shared enough. I wouldn’t want to seem presumptuous by shoving too many photos of my new digs down your throat. No, definitely wouldn’t want to do that!
EDITED: OMG, I can’t believe I forgot to include this. Behold, my wine closet:
Whew. That’s better.
Everything about this place calms me the moment I walk in the door. If feels like me. It smells like me. It looks like me. It has no memories but mine. My name is the only one on the title. There are no concessions here, in style or in substance. It is all what I think is best for me and mine. It is MY house, for me and my beloved children. There is nothing but our future here.
I am home.