The offer that changed the game came in as we were drying off from taking a dip in the pool. Just like that, our home was sold. Well, “under agreement” or “contingent” as they like to say, but, in that very moment, our home sorta, kinda became someone else’s and it sorta, kinda simultaneously feels awesome and impossibly sad. In many ways we are relieved that the selling process is over. The puzzles can come down from the attic, my daughter can toss flashcards everywhere, and my son can kick off his skivvies wherever he pleases again. Balance has been restored in that way. In many other ways, we regret ever deciding to move or sell. This is OUR HOME and we are afraid. We are afraid to leave the memories, the experiences, the comfort, the sounds, the smells, the firsts, and the lasts, and… the pool.
The creaky floors, the snakes and squirrels living in the shed, the moody neighbor, and other things that used to drive me crazy about the house now seem endearing, charming even. The updates and changes we made to the house now represent so much more than personal touches we made to the house over the course of our ten years here. That deck? Well, the pictures of our beloved dog, Appolonia, standing on the brand new structure were some of the last pictures we took of her before she passed away. That picket fence surrounding the backyard? That was put up for our current beloved dog, Lulu, whose very essence embodies a furry party on four legs. That living room wall? Well, that was painted in a drunken frenzy as we tried to distract ourselves from my recent miscarriage, heaving ourselves into the project, scaffolding and all. That huge hydrangea in the back garden? My mother gave me that bush after my son had open-heart surgery. The list goes on and on… Quite frankly, I am weeping and a little dizzy as I write this; it is almost too much emotion to handle.
However, I know it is simply time for us to go. It is time to pass the baton to a new family. Thankfully, they are just the kind of family we prayed would move into our home. So many snobs came through the door, demanding stainless appliances, granite countertops, Jacuzzis, and central air in their first home. Let’s be clear, this is the house that Jack and love built. When the new owners came to see the house a second time, the realtor told us they sat at the table on the deck and I just knew. They heard the angels sing. They felt the love that our house exudes, imperfections and all. They were home. So this is where our chapter ends and theirs begins. May they cherish and enjoy their years here as much as we have. May they float in the pool, looking up at the willow tress and feel bliss as we have. If home is where the heart it is, then rest assured, we will leave little pieces of our hearts on Apthorp Street.