I recently realized that all my big talk about purging and packing and garage sales is really a distraction from my feelings about leaving the family home. I’m focusing on the pragmatics of moving so I don’t have to feel the sadness of leaving. Over the past year, I’ve realized that the house is both too big and too expensive for what’s left of our family now.
I’m sick of taking care of the yard and really tired of paying a lawn service.
I’m tired of spending hours cleaning.
I feel like we rattle around in too much space with too much extraneous crap in it.
I love the house.
We signed the contract for it when #3 was 10 weeks old.
We came out, as a family, at least twice a month for seven months and watched the building progress.
We celebrated #3’s first birthday here.
In fact, we’ve had 12 Thanksgivings, 12 Christmases, 11 Easter egg hunts, and a total of 36 kid birthdays here.
It’s been a place filled with (mostly) wonderful family memories for the kids and me.
After Voldemort left, #3 said, “No matter what else happens, promise me we can keep the house.” And I thought we could.
It’s become a fool’s errand, though. We were conservative with our debt and as a result have a lot of equity in the house, even in the crappy real estate market. Neither of us can afford to buy the other out. I’m walking a fine line in the timing of our move and listing the house. Hopefully, I haven’t miscalculated and the house will sell by the end of the year. But who really knows? Plus, the property taxes are putting me in the poorhouse.
I’ve been wandering through the halls and rooms, patting the walls and thanking the house for sheltering us for the past 12.5 years. It’s been the home I dreamed it would be all those years ago when we first signed the contract. I’m feeling melancholy about leaving. And some of those feelings are also about letting go of the life I thought we would have, even now. Some of it’s about the divorce, but more of it is about our family home.
And I’ll miss it.