alternate title: emma needs to chill the heck out about endings
I hate goodbyes.
I suck at them, the words get twisted in my throat and never come out as they've been rehearsed. I guess that's why I'm typing this now, several weeks before we leave instead of the day we move.
I hate emotions. I hate crying. I hate feeling exposed or weak or pitied. I don't want to cry when we leave but my brain may have other ideas. Sure, I'm excited for the new place, don't get me wrong. But the truth is that leaving anywhere is hard after you're used to it.
This will be hard.
It is just now starting to sink in that soon I will walk out of the doorway and never walk through it again. I know it's just a house, that I'm getting too emotional over this but its been my home for my entire life so what do you expect me to do?
There are memories layered into these walls like paper mache—each coat of paint brings its own story of laughter. Of Christmas mornings and birthday songs and movie nights and sleepovers minus most of the sleeping. Each room tells its own story. The time I slipped on a potato peel in the kitchen and years later, when I tried for a hitch-kick and ended up on my butt. Or when we played apples to apples with my 4-H group and I laughed like a maniac the whole time to the point where they asked me if I was feeling alright. Or when the kittens were born in my closet on Easter, or when Joe fell off the top bunk into the chest at the foot of the bed.
It feels like too much to take at points—leaving everything behind. But then I remember that I am doing the same to someone else's house. We are making a new life in a new house that once belonged to new people that I have never met.
It's weird to think that in my lilac-colored room, there will be so much more laughter, so many more sleepovers and jokes and secrets shared
but they won't be mine.
They will belong to a new kid—a new delinquent with a bright smile and tousled hair tearing through the house, chasing siblings around the walls and dodging breakables with the intent of one only there to have fun
and it's weird
because this has been my house for my whole life, from the moment my parents brought me home from the hospital til now--
and it seems like it always will be mine—that when I am asked about my house, this will be the one that comes to mind--
but its not
because eras end and houses sell and new beginnings happen and guess what, its all happening at once.
I find myself wanting to tell these new people everything. I want them to appreciate this house, to memorize each squeaky patch of floor and step as I have. I want them to play in the climbing tree in the side yard and know about the time my sister got stuck in it and we had to bring her a rope ladder to get her down. I want them to pretend to fish in the tiny pond next to our driveway and I want to tell them how I once made a 'real' fishing pole out of a stick, fishing line, a tack, and an old hook.
I want to tell them about every sleepover, how one time we watched a movie in my room and went to brush our teeth and when we got back upstairs, my brother had fallen asleep on my floor, wrapped up in all the blankets from my bed. I hope they have their first sleepovers in this house. I hope they share a big air mattress and push each other off and laugh too hard. I hope they are the type of kids who need a parent watching their sleepovers at night because they will just not go to sleep. I hope they realize that those will be some of the best nights of their life.
I hope they have pets in this house. And yet I hope they never find the tear-soaked patch of dirt behind the house where I had to bury my rabbit one Wednesday morning. I hope they never have to make one themselves.
I hope they have parties. I hope they have their cousins and aunts and uncles over and I hope that one day they will get embarrassed and start hitting their cousin over the head with a box of dress-up toys. I hope that they will laugh about it years after.
I hope they dance. I hope that one rainy afternoon, they will put on their nicest clothes and insist that their mom plays Canon in D major so that they can waltz around the kitchen to it. I hope that when they get older there will be dance parties in the kitchen when the parents are gone, blasting music and singing and rocking out like there is no tomorrow. I hope they know how special those times are.
I hope they spend a day crying in their room when they don't get a part in something. I hope they understand that it's things like that that thicken their skin. I hope they know that even if it seems hopeless the sun will rise and they can try again. I hope they know that it will be okay, that nothing lasts forever—even the painful crush they just can't seem to let go of.
I hope they love this house like I have. I hope they spend hours just staring at their ceiling thinking about life. I hope they learn to appreciate the quirks and squeaks and dents. I hope that that during college this will be the place that they think of. I hope that this becomes their home, like it is mine.
The seventeenth is coming closer. Joe counts down the days, "This is our last Friday night in this house...the last Saturday night..."
As much as I want to hold onto it, to force time to a standstill, I can't. It's like I'm trying to scoop water with a colander but the harder I try the faster the water drains out.
There is nothing I can do to change anything, nothing I can do to stop time speeding past me. And that's okay. I will let it pass at its own speed. I will let my life change in this way, and I will make the best of it.
This new family will come and make this place their own. That is okay. We will make our new house our own. That's okay, too. I am nervous, and I will miss this place. That's okay.
Saying goodbye will not be fun, and it will not be easy.
But maybe it will be okay.