We listed it. Our house, that is. Our big beautiful house. My dream house. See ya later, dream house. Peace.
We are moving for a few reasons. Mostly because Matt’s commute is terrible. When we first moved to Pittsburgh, we worked about two hours apart. And dream house was right in the middle of us. We didn’t know the city that well. We didn’t know if we would ever have kids. We had 48 hours to find a house. And boy, did we find one. We got so lucky.
But, now, I have changed jobs, and we have Eddie. And it doesn’t make a lot of sense for Matt to be spending all that time driving. When he could be spending that time with me and with Eddie.
So we’re moving to a neighborhood closer to Matt’s work. Actually, it will probably be closer to both of our works. It’s in a better school district. It’s got cute, quiet, tree-lined streets. Lots of other young families to have BBQs with. Lots of big parks. Lots of restaurants. I have friends who live there. Things that I would want to walk to within walking distance. Lots of things our current neighborhood doesn’t have.
So, it’s all good. It will be good.
But man, it’s hard to leave this house. It’s just a house. There are millions of houses. Any house can be a home. I try not to be materialistic about it. But really, it’s much more than materials. I have such an emotional attachment to it. The way it smells like old wood and new family. The way my feet feel on the stairs and the way the floors creak. The way the light shifts through the 100 year old stained glass windows. The way my son’s voice echos and bounces off of the 12 foot ceilings. The way it’s situated high on the top of a hill, and from the 3rd floor window, I can see the buildings downtown. I can see rolling Pittsburgh hills for miles. I can see 15 different towns’ fireworks displays on July 4th every year.
I feel like this house has been there for me. When I hated Pittsburgh and wondered what we were doing here. When I hated my job and wondered what I was doing with my life. When I had anxiety attacks. The house was home. And the house was safe.
It was my first house. We bought it a few months after we got engaged. Together. It was a big step. it was our first home.
The house welcomed Eddie, on Christmas day, when I brought him home from the hospital. Comforted me when 40 hours of unproductive labor ended in a c-section. At least we were finally home.
Months before, I had read books, prepared, scoured Pinterest for inspiration to make a room into a nursery. I excitedly painted walls, chose where in this house our new little person would sleep, eat and play. I sat on the living room floor and lovingly, carefully folded so many laundry loads of teeny, tiny newborn clothes.
And for months after I brought Eddie home, the house soothed me with nighttime infomercials as I persevered through so many sleepless, interrupted newborn nights.
Ginger’s claw marks engrave the front door from excitedly greeting five years of guests. The house is huge. We’ve loved having so much room for guests. Our friends, our families.
The house has been kind and generous, and let various people stay when they just needed a roof and a bed.
The house has been resilient. The house has a sad past. Before I met this house, it was foreclosed upon, condemned and forgotten. Squatters smashed the back windows, vandalized the walls and woodwork and used it as a place to crash, and god-knows-what. Someone saw it’s potential, bought it, and renovated it. Then we bought it, and loved it. You can still kind of see the remnants of names and phrases carved into the original wood floors.
Just like the house, I’ve had a sad past. My past had crumbing dry wall, cold shoulders, exposed and rotting floor boards that smelled like urine. A house that nobody loved or cared for. When we moved into this new house, I put my past behind me. It was the beginning of a new life. As I cleaned it, cared for it and loved it, this house soothed me and helped me to see that I am better than where I came from. I feel like we kind of healed together.
In these five years, I’ve aged. And grown. And I now know that I am better than where I came from. Big house, small house or no house.
But man, it’s going to be hard to leave this house.