Something as simple as an address stamp brought me to tears on Monday. Our realtor and longtime friend - Jenn, she's amazing! - bought it for us as a gift for closing on our condo. And I cried. I always wanted an address stamp with our name, but every place we have lived in was temporary. And it seemed silly.
As a kid, we moved around a lot. Not so much that I wasn't able to make and keep friends, but enough to realize that nothing was permanent. We were ok. It wasn't bad by any means. But I don't have a childhood home. In fact, the longest place I've ever lived in is an apartment that my husband and I rented a few years ago for 6 years. But even that was temporary. It was supposed to last us 3 years. That's it.
We moved to another apartment which was also supposed to be temporary. It was only one bedroom and we knew we'd think about starting a family soon. It lasted about 2 years (until I was 7 months pregnant). Then we moved to a slightly bigger apartment with a den for our new baby. The den didn't have a closet or door and had a cutout leading to the kitchen. So. Again, it was going to be temporary. We figured it would last until she was 6 months or so. Well, 6 months turned into a year and we decided it was time for something bigger. With an actual room. So we started making plans to move. Again.
Miraculously we actually found a condo in the part of town we love and currently live. Every single thing fell into place perfectly and 2 months later we became home owners for the first time. And at closing, our realtor gave us an address stamp with our name and new address. And I cried.
Homes were always temporary. So much so, that the only room I ever spent time decorating was our daughter's room. She has artwork I painted for her and framed photographs adorned the walls, but no other room does. Why put holes in the wall for something temporary (lots of reasons, actually, but that was my thinking). But now, for the first time in my life, I have a home that I plan on staying in. Sure, it might only be a few years, but we don't have to move. It's ours and we can stay there forever if we want.
As I started packing I got very emotional. Why was I getting so emotional over an apartment that I knew would be temporary? Why? Becuase we made it our home. It's where I sat at 7 months pregnant, reading Winnie the Pooh to our daughter in her empty room. It's where we brought her home from the hospital. It's where I recovered from my c-section and held her in bed for hours. It's where she said her first word. Where she took her first step. Her first piece of artwork is still adorned the fridge. So is her birth announcement and first school photo.
I want to remember it all. I want to remember the coat closet we made her closet. I want to remember the curtain she has for a door. The little balcony she does sidewalk chalk on. It was little and we made it work. It was our home. Her first home.
It is a bitter sweet move, and I will miss this home. But I'm excited for the new memories we'll make in our new forever home.
Here's a little video I made to help me keep those memories forever.