May 02, 2014 - 7:19 AM
I suppose it’s a natural evolution but it sure doesn’t feel that way. As families grow, old bits slough off and we have to say good-bye with a For Sale sign.
We are moving from our little house, our home for the last 15 years. And since that damn sign went up out front, I’ve been walking around in a sentimental daze, purposely passing through time trying to soak in all that’s happened here.
I know exactly how long we’ve lived here because we had barely unpacked the house in December, 1999 when we realized a second child was on its way.
We sat right here in this kitchen and laughed like hysterical sleep- and cash-deprived new parents when the little pee-stick confirmed our second child was on order. Our first child was still an infant. And the laughter gave way to tears.
Nine months later, right over here, I see my wife leaning on the couch, breathing through her labour pains. My sons have known no other home.
Since then, these walls became castles for knights, space ships for Jedi, battleground for Pokemon and Power Rangers. This floor became lava, a sea to toss boats around, a track for monster trucks, a dance-floor and a battleground. For play... and the other battles brothers have.
Over here’s where my son got his dimple, running at full speed from some imaginary duel into a couch that came out of nowhere to block his face. And over here’s where my other son got his first scar—a six-inch gash to the bone in his leg after slipping off the counter he wasn’t supposed to be on.
In the garden, I planted that tree and we watched it grow. From there, I witnessed a first kiss and first love blossom.
I was sitting right there when I got the call telling that my niece died. I paced this deck when I learned my dad was dying. My first dog laid herself down right here for the last time.
These walls heard all our precious moments, all our fights, all our secrets, all our dreams. They kept us safe and protected as a shell does a seed.
Lately though, they are what we bump into as these boys became young men. Now they hide us from each other and frankly not very well. I’ve lived here longer than any other of the 16 places I’ve called home. For several years already, it’s been time to go, just as the seed sloughs off the shell when it grows too big.
Though it seems I’m the only one reflecting on the past, mired in the present and refusing to think about the future, I haven’t been stalling for sentimentality. I know a home is just where you lay your head. It’s an investment and a money pit and a guy probably shouldn’t get too nostalgic making business decisions.
I also know it’s not the house that’s making me misty, it’s that my family is moving into a new phase and the old is at risk of being forgotten.
Soon, we will be moved on to something else. New walls and trees and memories. We’re all excited about that.
Someone else will be here. They will paint the walls, cut down my trees and make it their own. And they probably won’t like me peaking in the windows after my kids graduate and leave home and all I’m left with are fading memories that need jogging.
Because I will. And when I do, before the police take me away, I hope I see the walls turned into castles, the floors covered in lava and battle-hardened warriors with band-aids on their knees.
— Marshall Jones is the editor of Infotel News.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014