One more sleep. That’s all that sits between now and a brand new house. Tomorrow morning I will wake up, leave for work from one place and come home to an entirely different one.
Our new house is beautiful. Quite honestly, it’s a dream. We’ve spent countless hours there, ripping up carpet and painting walls and imaging hypothetical furniture placement. But I haven’t yet reached the place in my head where I’ve transitioned from “Oh, this is a gorgeous house” to “Wow, this is my home”. Part of this is my faulty brain wiring, where I am conditioned to assume that beautiful things will eventually be taken away and that struggle is somehow the only way to measure success. And the other part is just the bittersweet reality of new beginnings.
The house we live in now is truly Shawn’s. It is dark furniture and leather couches and masculine paint colors. It’s a garage with a Scarface poster. It is a place where I am largely glad that the walls can't actually talk. When we moved in, Shawn did everything he could to make it feel like ours. He bought a giant bookcase and spent an entire Saturday night assembling it. He converted the basement into a playroom, research and agonizing over the proper padded flooring. And he didn’t even pause when an entire woodland animal themed bathroom set landed in our cart during a Sunday morning Target trip. But despite all of his efforts…it was never really ours.
But it was the house where all of our growing together occurred within its walls. The backyard that witnessed a spontaneous, inaugural “I love you, you know...” and almost exactly a year later, a down on one knee proposal. The house that we returned to after our first Valentine’s date -where I wore a red lip and a tight red dress but peeled out of it as soon as we were done with our fancy dinner and immediately put on sweatpants. Where I got so mad that I irrationally cleaned everything we owned but realized no matter what corner I turned, I wasn’t by myself anymore. The house where Shawn and I have navigated strange modified parenting- reprimanding Grace together and then dissolving into coconspirator giggles as soon as she stomped up the stairs.
I suppose this is an odd sort of love letter to this house. I feel like I crossed the threshold a little battered, somewhat broken and definitely backwards. I wasn’t really expecting to fall in love or looking for any life-changing growth experiences. I just wanted to eat some Chinese food, lose myself in a awful movie (Bad Grandpa, for those of you following along at home) and maybe snuggle a little. Along the way, some things changed. Growth was inevitable and love followed just behind.
Moving from the house where I was able to finally exhale with an “everything is actually going to be ok” to the home where everything is going to get even better.
I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.