Brake Lights And Bumpers

This is my first time selling a house. It will be our fifth out-of-state move but our first with kids. I thought I was managing the stress.

Last week, I was talking to J in the car, and I thought I had waited until the garage door opened. But, when the garage door reached out and bit the back of my car, I realized that it must not have opened all the way before I started backing up. My husband fixed the garage door, but we’ll need a new brake light.

The very next day I locked myself out of the house. When my husband came home early from work to open the door, he found my keys. In the garage. So, really I wasn’t locked out. And he didn’t need to come home early.

On Monday, I started the week by backing into a car at J’s school. In my defense, I was parked on a hill, and anyone who drives an SUV or a van knows that there’s a huge blind spot behind the bumper. A car must have pulled right behind me just before I started checking my mirrors, and I never saw the car. I guess I’ll try not to choke on the $600 for a repainted bumper.

I’m on a roll. And not in a good way.

So, I decided to get back on an exercise regime. I clearly need a better way to manage my stress, and walking is much cheaper than brake lights and bumpers.

The Spot I Will Miss

The backyard, before we made it our own

I had a dream last night that we sold our house. I must be practical even in my subconscious, because I worked through the entire negotiation phase in my sleep. And when we were done, I was so happy. I didn’t feel any sadness about leaving this house at all.

When we put our house on the market a few weeks ago, it was with great relief. After months of weekend projects and nonstop cleaning, I couldn’t wait to be done with it all.

With each showing, I ask myself if I’m really ready to leave this place.

This was our first home to own. When we bought it four years ago, I walked around the perimeter, examining each brick, thinking to myself: I own every brick on this house.

When we bought this house, I was newly pregnant. Everything was fresh and exciting. The world sparkled, and those four walls housed so many hopes for our future.

Nothing turned out as I had planned it.

I discovered the house was fine, but I desperately wanted to relocate it. We had moved three times before, and never had I disliked a town like this one. I felt stuck before I even knew how stuck we were, because six weeks after we moved, we had J 14 weeks early. Now, that is stuck. When you have a baby in the hospital, then you know what stuck is.

Our house was both a refuge and a prison, depending on the moment. I both loved and hated it. It was solid and well-built. We made it our own. We made it a home, but it was always temporary. And we were always looking toward the future, when we wouldn’t need downtown NICUs and high-risk doctors and specialists, when we could cut our ties with this place.

After we listed it, I walked around the house and took notice of all we have done to it. Our touches are in every room. I am so sentimental, and this is the home where I brought my NICU babies. So, I was surprised to discover that everything that matters really can be boxed up and taken to our new life. The house has so much baggage for me that it won’t be a bad thing to start over again, in a place where the world sparkles.

I commented to my husband that for every good memory in this house, I have a sad one.

But, there is one spot that I will miss, a place in the middle of the deck my husband built. It is where J took his first steps. Where I sat, pregnant with M, and watched J play in the backyard. Where I pushed babies in a swing. Where we dined outside at our travertine table with company. Where my husband and I listened to the chatter of birds as we discussed our future. It is the only part of this house that is all joy and no sadness.

There it is, the one spot I will miss.

The winter before the deck was finished

A tired mama sunning with her baby

I looked out the back door one morning to see this…

J and his kitten

I was pregnant with M when this photo was taken.

The wisteria in the spring

Lunch with NICU friends

A Blogcation

Well, I took quite a spring break from the blog! I do have three pretty good excuses:

1. We’re in the process of selling our house, so we’ve spent hours upon hours over the last few months getting the house move-in ready, for someone else. It has been daunting with two little kids–and two dogs–underfoot, but it will be worth it.

2. I had some major computer problems, so for two weeks I didn’t use my computer at all. It forced me to get my documents and photos in order, which involved editing over 1,000 photos from the last nine months! It also forced me to detox on Facebook and all the blogs I follow, which has freed up some time to read books again. In another few days when everything is in order again, I’ll be glad I was forced to tackle all of my computer woes and to detox on all my favorite websites, but in the midst of it, I was pretty ticked.

3. Finally, J had a bad case of pneumonia during early April. It was his first serious illness since he left the NICU 3.5 years ago, and it was terrifying. But, you’d never know he was sick now.

I have many ideas for blog posts, and I’ve missed writing regularly. I also have loads of photos that are finally edited and ready to share. We all need a breather from time to time, so hopefully the blog will benefit from my month-long blogcation.