It is pouring rain this morning and the house is dark and quiet. The children are still sleeping at five minutes until 9:00am. I know I should wake them but frankly I am enjoying the solitude. We are supposed to pack their rooms today. In about a week we'll move. We are nowhere near ready for the moving vans to arrive. I confess that I have never been ready for the moving vans until the night before they arrive. Well, once I was. But that was due to the fact that it was a corporate move and the moving guys did all the packing as well as the loading and unloading. All I had to do was make sure the house was neat, pick up the baby, and get out of the way. That was many years ago, the baby was my almost grown daughter, and I have forgotten completely what it was like to have the luxury of someone else packing up my belongings.
I remember all too clearly our move last year. It was really a chore. We had lived in the same home for twelve years. It was a three bedroom, two bath, two car garage house on a corner lot and it was filled to the brim with all of those important and not so important things a family collects over time. We had a big garage sale and I still had to box things up and move them out just to put the house on the real estate market.
Before we knew we'd have to move away from home, we had started looking for a larger house, something bigger with another bedroom in our same school district. I knew we needed more space but I don't think I realized just how small our house was until we moved into this one. There is so much space here that I felt a bit lost at first. In fact, I missed my little gray house. I missed my beautiful soaking tub that sat under a skylight in redwood decking. I missed the vaulted ceilings and the natural light that filled the house. I missed the walls I had stripped and painted and papered, the woodwork I had stained, the tile floors my husband had painstakingly laid. Oddly enough I missed the intimacy of the smaller space. I missed lying in bed and hearing my boys murmur to each other across the hallway.
I think what I missed most of all was the feeling that the little gray house was my home. This house is not my home. It is roomy and has storage to die for, but it isn't mine. I can't change the fixtures or the wallpaper in the extra bathroom or the carpet. I can't rip out the horrible bushes the homeowner didn't tend for years. I can't change the kitchen counters or tear out the wall between the laundry room and the half bath to make it big enough to turn around in. I have wanted to do each of those things since the moment we moved in.
I am not looking forward to the logistics of moving. I most definitely am not interested in packing or unpacking. I don't want to get the kids up and make them work the next week of their summer away. But when it's all over and I am sitting in a house full of boxes waiting to be emptied, I know I will feel happier, more content. We bought a house. And once again, I'll have a place to call my own.