I remember when we were looking for houses. There was joy and elation. This was going to be our first house. The house we brought our babies home to. The place where they would learn to crawl, walk, and play. The place we would gather for birthdays and all sorts of family celebrations along the way. It was to be filled with wonderful memories and would be our perfect "starter home." Then we would simply "just move to a better school district" when our kids were bigger. When we bought the house the idea of moving back to Oklahoma was somewhere far back in my mind, but I loved St. Louis, loved my job, loved all my friends, and wasn't really sure that was were we would end up. The house had enough room for us to have as many kids as we thought we would want, so there really wasn't going to be a rush to sell it if we didn't want to. It had a huge basement that doubled as a perfect playroom, it was in a lovely little neighborhood with tree lined streets and houses that didn't all look the same. We were both close to our jobs, we were even getting money from the government for buy buying it , all was right with the world.Then life happened, lessons were learned the hard way, and our plans changed.
If I could tell these two young love birds anything I would quote my dad, "You have no idea."
Don't get me wrong that house was most of those things. It was our first home, full of lots of first and lots of memories. It was were I laid on the basement floor, stressed and crying, when we found out we were going to be parents. "What have we done??" There were many milestones there, good and bad. It was the house we brought our babies home to, even if our first homecoming wasn't filled with the joy we thought it would be. It was were we spend innumeral sleepless nights up with crying babies. I have walked miles in that little yellow room, bouncing babies and singing lullabies. It was were I held a screaming, sick two year old, and found out I was pregnant with baby number two. Again wondering, "what have we done?" It was where Zane met his little brother for the first time, during a much happier homecoming with our second baby boy. It was also where so many difficult, life changing moments took place. The place where the road of life took way too many sharp turns in a very short time.
I was recently back in St. Louis and went to visit our first home, just to check in and see how it was looking. I have done this once before, since we have moved, and both times it was a gut wrenching experience. When I pull in I still feel like I'm home. I can see Zane running/toddling around our beautiful front yard, while we waited for Zach to get home from work. I can see the chalk drawings on our front porch and the pictures drawn on our glass front door. When I get inside I can hear the pitter patter of baby feet on hard wood floors. I stand in the place I was sitting when I found out my father had passed away and choke back tears. I stand by the window in the nursery where I prayed through so many things, rocking my baby with his little broken heart. The same place I cried tears of joy while cuddling my perfectly healthy baby Ro. I walk down the hallway were Zane took his first steps. The boys rooms are the hardest to be in, and the basement. Both filled with so many wonderful memories of my kids. So many firsts, so many milestones met, so many wonderful days, with just as many difficult ones. So many nights tip toeing into those rooms to kiss blonde boys on their heads while they were sleeping.
The house I grew up in was a hundred year old farm house, that had been in the Blakley family since before Oklahoma was a state. Generations of memories filled it's rooms. In college it was torn down, too old to be repaired, not being built on a foundation, it was full of lots of other things besides memories. I remember standing there, watching it being torn down room by room, and thinking that at least no one else would ever live there. That it would be so hard to think of another family making memories there. That's how I feel out about the "Little House" (as Zane calls it.) It's hard to think of another family making memories there, of other people sleeping where my new born babies slept. It's even harder to think of never going back there and my boys not remembering it. I know that is how most families do it, multiple houses, in different places, that you can never return to. Many different places to call home. But for me there has always only been one place I called home, even now that there is a different house there, it's still the same place. So much about how my children are growing up is completely different than my childhood. I guess that's alright, I just am so ready for them to have one place they call home. Sadly that is probably years down road and they will have at least one more house to live in before then. For now I'm praying fervently that some family will fall in love with The Little House, like we did, so we can close that chapter and begin to move on.