We recently went back to our hold neighborhood and it took about three minutes to realize you really can't go home again once you left. Our house looked great, it wasn't that. Our old neighbors and friends were still friendly, it wasn't that either. It was mostly us. We all felt like spies on a secret mission, maintaining a low profile and trying to blend.
The kids were too little to remember anything about that house at all, which shouldn't have surprised me but it did. Hubs was pretty mechanical walking around the inside of our old house, getting it ready for the new tenants. Even I was shockingly not twisted in an emotional ball if yarn by revisiting our past while changing lightbulbs. I knew I was in there somewhere so I took a minute to stand in our empty living room. It was all there: contractions, Christmas trees, American Idol nights with Marni, picnics, 4th of July parties, blue and pink hydrangeas, Chinese take out, long walks to see the horses, fighting, making up, all of it. At that moment, I wanted it back. We lived (and at times I felt like I was dying) in that little living room. Our boy potty trained in those bathrooms. Our Sadie nested on the mulch piles under the prettiest sunsets I've ever seen. We brought both our babies home to that house and for me that alone will always make that home a little bit sacred.
But, as much as I might want to make it otherwise, life moves in one direction and one direction only: forward.
No telling what forward means for us and our family or even geographically where that will put us in a year. What we do know is that our "home" keeps changing every couple of years and we change right along with it. I suppose this is true of most people in this day and age. I'm not the same girl who couldn't locate her spatula in her own kitchen a couple years ago. My husband is not the same man who had a clear vision for his career path, un-muddied by other familial factors. Even Sadie is not the same manic pup who climbed people to greet them. We are all older, more experienced, and different.
In one way I am comforted by knowing we are all moving forward because I feel that is a natural way of transitioning through life phases. In another respect, though, I am sad to learn the place I called home in that storybook house is already just a memory.