I tend to be a fairly sentimental person. I find it hard to throw away notes my students wrote to me, art from my daughters, tickets from theater performances, and Christmas letters from friends and family. That’s not always a good thing. Our house is awfully full of stuff. But, luckily, most of that stuff is pretty small.
Today we (my daughters, my husband, and I) spent the day at my parents’ house. This isn’t uncommon. They live about half an hour from us and our girls are often there even if we aren’t. The unusual part was when we left. We drove away knowing that it’s very possible that was the last time we ever visit that house.
My parents have bought a motor home and are about to embark on a long-time dream. They are selling almost everything they own next week (thanks to a company that does these things). They’ve put a few things in storage for a future time when they feel they are too old to be driving around the country in a motor home. Some stuff has been shipped to my sister in San Francisco and my minivan has made trips for the past few weekends bringing stuff back to our house. Starting Monday my parents will live in their motor home.
I can’t just tuck this house away in a keepsake box in my closet.
My parents have lived in this house since 1984. That’s the longest either of them have lived in any home. At one point or another I lived in every one of its four bedrooms. I learned to play the piano in that house. Inside the hall closet door are the markings showing mine and my sister’s heights over the years. And now those for my daughters as well. There is only one other family on that cul-de-sac that has lived there longer than my parents.
My daughters cried as we drove home. They don’t like things to change. They’re strong and spending spring break traveling with Grandma and Bobo in the motor home will do wonders for their adjustment period. I tried to talk with them about it as we drove. To acknowledge their sadness while reminding them of their excitement about future plans. I think that would have been more effective if I hadn’t been crying.
Change is hard. When you are the one advocating for or planning the change it is different. When change is out of your control it is challenging. I’m not against this change. It’s just hard to adjust.