Early September arrives very quietly. It’s the cool kid, showing up to the party after summer’s brightly colored swimsuits and too much greasy sunscreen. September is sophisticated with the reintroduction of sweaters and glossy new school books, sweetened by the crispness of the apple orchards turning out racks of cinnamon doughnuts and gallons of tart cider. It’s cooking in the kitchen again, letting the grill rest and the allowing the Crockpot to bubble gently on the countertop. It’s driving past a high school on a Friday night and hearing the speakers and cheers from the football field. It’s my favorite time of year.
This September has been loaded with other kinds of changes for our family–happy changes, but some readjusting will be required, nonetheless. I’ve been trying to get a handle on what is about to happen, but I don’t know that I can until it’s official.
We are moving. It’s not far. In fact, it’s closer to where we’ve begun to build our lives. It’s ten minutes from the kids’ school versus the twenty we drive now. It’s less than two miles from my parents’ house; the house that I called home as a kid. It’s a beautiful house. I just don’t feel like I’m “grown up” enough to call a house like this home. But I suppose the fact that a huge selling point for me was a walk-in pantry, it would indicate that some part of me has matured in the past decade.
Scott was sure the minute we stepped foot in the new house that this was it. I was smitten with it as well, but I felt, and continue to feel, a tug to stay put. In the last five years, we have made our current house our home, I had even hoped it would be our forever home. Every room serves a purpose and is well-lived in. But even beyond that, our house holds memories that seem impossible to turn away from.
I could show you exactly where Grace took her first steps. I know after we leave, the new home owners are going to find Lego pieces in odd places. If you were to chip off the new paint in the laundry room, you’d see my kids’ height marks from the past three years drawn in pencil along the door frame. I wish I could bottle the tender tears my boys have cried when we told them at the new house, they won’t be able to share a bedroom (Noah is insisting that Luke will sleep in his bed every other night).
My heart is in this home. It’s in the garden I finally grew this summer. It’s in the days of running I’ve done around the subdivision, wondering and worrying over countless miles about the kids and Scott, then seeing a rabbit or a deer next to a field that made me forget it all and marvel at how amazing creation is. We live in the country where there are woods and swamps, and farms with endless rows of crops all around our subdivision. But on our street live the kind of neighbors who always had the quintessential cup of sugar and a smile to spare. So, I’ve been crying a lot when I’m alone. I’ve been praying we’re making the right decision. I figured if we weren’t, God would somehow stop it from happening.
Today, I slipped out alone to the grocery store while Scott napped on the couch with Grace in his arms and the boys played a game on the iPad. I was driving through sporadic cascades of raindrops then wandering distractedly through the aisles at the store, replaying the past few weeks in my head when I looked up in the check out line. Who should be standing there but the people who are buying our house! If that’s not a God-incidence, I don’t know what is. I watched them quietly unloading their cart for a minute; they hadn’t seen me yet. I watched how loving they were with each other. And I felt it. They’re a good fit. They are the kind of people who could live here and I would be happy for them dwelling in a place that will forever hold a piece of my heart. I said her name then and she looked up and smiled in disbelief, too. It was so strange that we were together there at the same time, but I know there was a reason for it.
We made small talk for about a minute and a half and then they went on their way. But I drove home feeling a sense of peace about it all. This can happen now. We will grow our hearts in another set of walls and make even more memories there.
But, please know this: I am never moving again.