So you know we’re leaving in just a couple of days. I’m sure you picked up on this when we started filling you with boxes, taking things off the wall, and saying things like, “Wow, I can’t believe we’re moving in just a couple of days.”
It’s true, we’ve found somewhere new. We bought a house not too far from here. We’re so excited to have a place to call our own and to start building a new home for our family. But before we go, we want you to know something.
We love you. And we’ll miss you.
You were actually the first and only place we looked at last time we had to move. When I walked through and saw your cozy layout, crisp colors and well-kept kitchen, I told Alan I had found our next spot. On our second or third night here, he remarked to me, “I’ve never moved somewhere that so quickly felt like home.”
It was true. Something about you immediately clicked. It was just the right amount of space for the two of us. The location worked for our commutes. We were near downtown Decatur. Our neighbors were quiet. Alan had a game room. I had an office nook. It was perfect.
But those features aren’t what made us fall for you. That happened on December 5, 2014, the night we brought Archie home from the hospital. You’re in our hearts for good now, because while you aren’t Alan’s and my last home, you will always be Archie’s first.
Yes, your spaces are cramped and cluttered–with the first toys he played with. Yeah, that one toilet flushes weird–or as Archie says, “Make the bubbles.” Sure, you have lots of stairs–the ones Archie first was carried up, then crawled up, and now walks up with his hand on the “rang-ing.”
Every corner of you is filled with an Archie memory. The kitchen where we filled, warmed, washed, dried, filled, warmed, washed, dried, filled, warmed, washed, dried bottles night after night after night. The floor in our family room where Archie took his first steps. The sink where we cautiously (and cluelessly) gave Archie his first bath. The bathtub Archie decorated with foam letters. And the faucet that, for a brief phase, Archie would talk to and say “thank ooo” for the water.
And it’s not just memories of Archie you evoke, but of Mom, too. You were the last home of mine she visited, and where I got the call from Dad that it was time to come up.
I’ve felt a twinge of sadness when leaving previous residences, but my heart is heavier leaving this one. And I realize it’s because as I get older, each new space comes with stronger ties to people. Previous houses hosted parties with friends, then I shared a rented house with Alan, then together we welcomed Archie to you, Townhouse.
As we move into our new house, we do so with visions of family holidays, birthday parties, backyard gatherings, game nights with friends. The previous owners left after 22 years there, having raised two children before deciding to retire to Florida. Throughout our purchase process, we had heard through our agent that the sellers were very emotional and didn’t even want to be at the closing at the same time as us. It’s understandable. And it means good memories happened inside those walls. I hope when it’s our time to leave, I’ll be crying my eyes out, too.
In the meantime, thank you, Townhouse. I’ll be shedding a few tears this Thursday morning when we pull away from you. I keep wondering if Archie will realize what’s going on, and at some point in the new house ask to “go home.” Ideally, he’ll look up and see Alan and me and realize he’s already there.