I am sitting in my empty house (except for the girl upstairs asleep on the mattress borrowed from the camping trailer) while my husband and son are driving his pet bees over to our new house. Our ‘beds’ are all in the empty master bedroom so we can have one last family sleepover tonight. I finished my last job of washing the floor and have to admit I was feeling a bit emotional while finishing up. Tonight is our last night in this home.
For me so much of home is tied up in the memories made there. We have lived in this house now for almost five years. It is the longest I have lived anywhere since I was 15, so this home has more years of memories than any others I have lived in except for one. Aaron and I have been married 12 years and have moved (including tomorrow) nine times. Some moves have been easier, like out of our first apartment into our first home and some have been harder, moving provinces and away from family and friends. Still now matter how wanted or excited I am about where we are going, I always want to cherish our experiences that make our houses into homes.
Just before they left to take the bees Liam was helping me wash the floor – he is now a very legitimate helper and I was remembering how he was just three months old when we moved in.
He learned how to walk here, how to talk here, we slept all cozied up here, breastfed countless times here, woke up so many times in the middle of the night that mama sometimes almost lost it and had to pass off to daddy here. He helped us landscape the yard and build the deck here.
He became a sibling here. He played and created and dreamed here. He grew and grew and grew here – and now he is five.
Raine was born here. (Here is Aaron holding her in the master bathroom just after she was born.) She was cuddled and nursed and joined our family here. She learned how to walk and talk and play and live here.
She grew and grew and grew here and now she is two. When we first moved in she wasn’t even a prayer yet and now although she is still a lot of baby, we know so much about the unique, strong person that she is.
We met new friends here. We cleaned and cooked and played and danced and slept and fought and made love here.
I learned here. I was a new mother here. My children taught me here. I grew into a woman who was a wife and a mother here. I discovered that at times I can be stronger than I ever thought here. I gardened here, I wrote here, I created here, I prayed here, I read here. I laughed here, I cried here, I was angry here, I celebrated here, I yelled here. I failed and I succeeded here. I grew in my faith here. I explored who I am for this season of my life here.
But mostly I hope I loved here. Because I discovered that without love I am nothing here. And that is what really makes a house a home. And I can take that with me anywhere.