After strapping Cruz in his seat and hopping behind the wheel, I opened the windows and let the warm, still air fill our car. The kids were calm in the backseat and Beau and I made small talk as we approached the familiar stoplight at Greehill and Hudson. It was past the kids' bedtime, but just as the light switched from red to green, I spontaneously hit the accelerator and turned off my turning signal.
"How about a little detour."
As soon as we unstrapped Cruz from the car, he began running ahead of us. A boy in his element, he immediately started picking up rocks, kicking at the dirt, and jumping over holes. Mila was content in Beau's arms, her face and bright blue eyes all lit up as the sun had just begun to set, casting this golden hue over everything in sight. All of a sudden, Beau yelled for Cruz to stop. We turned left and walked another fifty yards in the dirt tracks before he stopped, turned a full circle, looked at me, and smiled.
"This is it. This is where our house will be."
I didn't expect to feel so much in that moment, but I think I will remember it as one of those special, unplanned times when life just kind of comes full circle before your very eyes. We were standing on our very own lot, on a street that will soon hold the pages of our next chapter. We've been carefully planning and dreaming about this new house we will build for a long time and to stand on the land where it will all come to life made it feel so real. For a year, we've been patiently waiting for the land to be ready, providing me lots of time to think and then overthink our decisions and desires for our future. I've went back and forth not only on what I wanted in a house, but more importantly, what I want to invest in our home. But as I circled that plot, watched Cruz dance around in the dirt and dreamed about Mila learning to walk on the pitter patter of new floors, I felt so much peace with it all. It's not the house, though, that matters, but that I have the three of them with me along the way. For they are my home.
We are just a few weeks shy of breaking ground on our new digs. It will be my farmhouse bungalow, sans chickens, with butcher block counter tops, main floor laundry, and lots of windows to let in all the light. It's going to be an exciting year, one with lots of decisions and I'm sure lots of tests of patience as we decide where to put outlets and what kind of roof we want. I can now correctly identify whether every house in town has a hip or gable roof. :)
All excitement aside, I want to remember that I am typing this post with a physical ache and lump in my throat just thinking about saying goodbye to this home of ours. I struggle with change and I become attached to things and places that hold great sentiment to me. And this gingerbread house of ours holds the greatest stories of my life. This is where I became a wife and a mama, where we painted walls and transformed spaces, nursed babies in the middle of the night and read countless stories before bed. Every crack and crevice of this place is us and there is something profoundly permanent about that. To give this piece of us to someone else is going to be difficult for me.
The stories, though, they're coming with us. They'll find their way in frames placed upon bookshelves or in 'remember when' stories we tell at the dinner table. They'll tell a rich part of our family's history, those days of raising babies and gardens, cooking dinner in our handcrafted kitchen, and yes, even sharing our tiny little bathroom. I will even miss the bathroom.
P.S. If you know of someone who may be interested in our home, we'll be on the market later this fall. We hope to find a family who loves it as much as we do.
Pictures of our special night surveying our soon-to-be neighborhood...
No, the dog is not foreshadowing into our future, even though I'm pretty sure he would've come home with us we would have let him!