Friday, May 31, 2013

Time To Move On

We are in escrow to buy our first house. Yay! I'll pat myself on the back for you. Now, if you're wondering why a mid-thirties couple with three kids are just now buying their first house, well, let's just say, WE LIVE IN CALIFORNIA. More specifically, in a desirable beach town where rent is more than likely double what your mortgage is, for your house that's twice as large as ours.

But this isn't a contest and I hate competing, because it's actually embarrassing when people always lose to me. Christ, I'm kidding. I blame the fumes from the Sharpie I'm using to mark 17,000 boxes, combined with the emotional component of moving from the only house our kids have ever known.

I used to be a Realtor, and I- admittedly, kind of slack-jawed- watched people freak out in front of me when they were in the process of buying a house, especially their first. There's something about a home purchase that takes people to the dark side; it's a huge source of stress. And now, I get it, because I'm kind of freaking out. But I'm still trying to process why... this is actually a really great thing.

We're moving to a brand-new house that is OUR OWN. We can, within reason, do whatever we wanna do to this place. We can paint Motley Crue and Mickey Mouse murals on our walls (not that we will). We can yell at Nate's old butt-buddy co-worker from our driveway because he lives like, four houses away. We're closer to more of our friends and family (poor them). 

But, it's a brand-new house, and WE HAVE THREE SMALL KIDS. When we moved into our current (old-as-hell) place over seven years ago, the carpet needed to be replaced and the walls needed to be painted. But we kept it that way and didn't care because for fuck's sake, we were going to have kids here. I was pregnant with Ethan and it was like, who gives a shit, the kid is going to destroy everything anyway. But with this new house, nothing is destroyed, and I am going to flip the holy hell out the first time, and the second time, and the 600th time the boys do something to wreck something. I know myself. I'm going to be a complete mess as I watch the "new" get trashed.

And then, like with everything else in marriage and parenthood, after a while I'll just become defeated and give up. But it's going to be a rough couple of years coming up. A total war, really, because in spite of knowing better, I'll fight against the inevitable for a while. I'm going to have to drink a lot to deal. SEND WINE AND VODKA.

But moving past the superficial, are you actually complaining about that shit component, there's this:

This old house is the house I brought every single one of my babies home to. That bedroom in the back corner is where I spent hours putting together the nursery for my first baby, pregnant and folding his tiny baby clothes while wondering what he was going to look like and dreaming about holding him in my arms before laying him down to sleep in his crib in that corner. This house is where each of my boys took their first steps, where each and every birthday party of theirs has been thrown, where memories have been made.

In this house, I have grown. Not just physically (thanks, baby weight that has never left) but emotionally, too. I have learned how to be a mother, how to be a forgiving wife, how to be a woman who is not just taking care of myself anymore. Here, within these old, smelly, in-desperate-need-of-paint walls, I have discovered- with the shock of ice water being thrown into my face while sleeping- what having a family of my own means. Here I have learned how to live outside of myself, and for people other than myself. I have watched my husband grow into the role of father here. I have watched him become a better husband here. I have wanted to stab him to death here, and have wanted to never let him go, not in a million years, here.

But it's time to move on. It's time to move into a place that is, finally, our own. So goodbye, old, smelly house.

Goodbye, you fucking piece of shit toilet that clogs up two or three times a day. I will not miss plunging you while watching my son's shi- never mind. Let's not go there. Goodbye, fireplace that every single one of my kids has burned their hands on. Thank you for keeping us warm. Thank you for allowing me the memories of my own childhood, of standing in front of a warm, blazing fire while my family lives around me.

Goodbye, old doorbell that only dings halfway when someone (usually the kids, in spite of being told 8,000 times not to, GODDAMN THEM) presses the button, with the other half of the tune randomly dinging in the middle of the fucking night and scaring the BEJEEZUS out of me.

Goodbye, room that I rocked my babies in while nursing them back to sleep. Goodbye, walls that I hung the first pictures of them on. Goodbye, disgusting carpet full of allergens and mold and piss and dirt and God-knows-what-else that my sons learned to crawl on.

Goodbye, you weird orange-tiled bathroom that our babies had their first baths in. Goodbye, drunk and stoned college-student neighbors. I genuinely hope that we were sufficient birth control for you. Given the condoms, YES THAT'S PLURAL GAG GAG, that I recently found littering our street after the raccoons broke into your garbage, I'm going with a solid yes.

I'm pleased.

To the new house, I'm sorry for what we're about to do to you. Don't worry, you'll get used to us after a while. I especially apologize to the new neighbors. And frankly, neighbors, I fear you. Even though I'm about to bring in a gaggle of kids whose screaming, yelling, and general air of destruction is going to make you want to cover our house in flammable liquid and then blowtorch it while we're sleeping, I'm a little scared of you. Please don't be freaks. Thanks.

And speaking of being a freak, that's what I'm going to be more of than usual over the next month, as I immerse myself in dust and mold and unspeakable things while packing up the house that we moved into with NO children and now have three of, and then unpack in new quarters. Please forgive any complete weirdness you read from me. 

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