After 35 years of living in the same house, my parents are moving. Thankfully, they are staying in the same town, just a different house with a bigger kitchen, bathrooms and storage. I can't quite blame them. Their home was built at a time when the number of bedrooms far outweighed being able to stretch out your arms in your own bathroom. Having a place for us three kids to sleep was a little more important I guess. My dad found the confines of suburbia constraining. I guess you could say he would be happy to be put out to pasture where there is green space and not a cul-de-sac. After all, they are retired and deserve to have a home that doesn't need to be populated with kids.
I can't help but feel a surprising emotion of grief, which really caught me. This was the house I lived in from the age of 5 to 18 and then again from age 20 to 23. It's a part of my history that I took for granted. My parents did offer to let me buy the house. There was almost no hesitation as a quick "NO" escaped my mouth. THAT would be weird.
I walked home from primary school to this house. I had lots of sleepovers, birthday parties, and holidays here. I hunted Easter eggs in the backyard, climbed the tree in the front yard to throw china berries at the neighborhood kids, hid in the laundry hamper, carved my initials in my windowsill, buried a few family pets in the back yard, jumped to thwack the attic pulldown cord in the hall, learned to roller skate in the garage, learned to ride a bicycle in the driveway, had hippity-hop derby races in the front yard, washed my first car in the driveway and had my first kiss on the front porch. My daughter took her first steps in the same living room where I watched the Wizard of Oz for the first (and twentieth) time.
My parents are excited about the move, but I can tell they are having similar separation issues. My dad said "selling this house is like letting go of one of my kids". I replied "which one and which time?" We both laughed.