May 10, 2011

What makes a home?

In her book Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert went to Italy, India and Bali to find balance, find God, find herself.

I get to go to Texas. 
Anna, Summer 2005
Kurt has accepted a really wonderful job in Dallas. We’ll be moving next month, leaving Colorado, which has been my home for 20 years.

 Since my head can’t wrap entirely around the big picture of it all, I’ve focused down on what it means to leave this house. It is a place, not so much of adults, but of my children. The wall of windows in my room that spotlights the kids when they roll around the bed in a perpetual tickle fight. Watching movies on the big TV in “Daddy’s Basement” (known to the adult world as a man cave), curled up together in a jumble on the couch. The glow of the nightlight on the nursery walls as I sat and rocked each baby through the years, alone in the world except for each other. 
The girls, Summer 2007

The playroom where they learned to walk and color and read and sing (and talk back and bicker). The odd splatter of spaghetti in the kitchen from enthusiastic dinners over the years (no need to worry. The house cleaners are coming). The front hall where Anna and Silvia can spend hours throwing their favorite toys high in the air, making them fly.

The front steps covered in chalk drawings and little piles of stealthily dug up potting soil from Kurt’s freshly planted flowers. The family room where each of my kids at some point cuddled under blankets, watching TV and napping when they were sick.

The girls, Summer 2009
Splashy, soaking baths with three little bodies slipping about in the tub. Kurt painting the kids’ rooms with total patience as his pregnant wife wandered in and out, commenting on his progress (with loving suggestions, of course).

Christmas trees and Easter mornings. Valentine’s Day surprises and birthday parties. Even potty training and the eternal time-out corner. This house is where my children began. 

Jack, Summer 2010
 I know there will be new memories to come, new traditions and new delights. But I’d be lying if I said these walls don’t matter, don’t hold something important inside them. Our family was born here and it breaks my heart a little bit to leave it behind.

Still, we are leaving all the same, so I’ll eat, pray and love like the book suggests. It may be more fried Twinkies at the Texas State Fair then pasta amatriciana on the Piazza Navona. I suspect there will be less aesthetic meditation and more, “Oh God, does it really have to be THIS hot?!”. 

As for the love part? Well, fortunately that’s something that, unlike this house, we will easily bring along with us. No trip to Bali required (though wouldn’t that be nice?).
The kids, Winter 2010


Alison said...

Wow, this is big, big, BIG news. (Everythings bigger in Texas???) My cousin who has three young boys (and a teenager) is also moving to the Dallas are in the next few weeks. I will hook you guys up for sure!

I'm sad to hear this news for myself, even though we haven't spent time together much lately. But happy for you to have this adventure that I know you've thought about for a while.

I want to know more details too????!!!!

Jennifer said...

I know this feeling well and it is quite buttersweet...sometimes more bitter and sometimes more sweet and not always at the same time. I am excited for you and your sweet family. So many new possibilities: truly an adventure! The thought of a new adventure is what gets me through the bitter moments of leaving a home, friends and life behind. Love you so much and I wish Lea and I could be there to help you in any way! That's kinda ironic isn't it? You were there cheering us on or listening to whining (from me not Lea...she can confess her own whining) during our moves. Now we can only do it from our parts of the country in our new homes making new memories and still feeling like a family.

Lisa said...

I'm excited for you all, and of course, CONGRATS on the fabulous new job!

Eric said...

Who would have thought a year ago that you, me, and Jen would all leave Colorado within a year? How crazy is that?! I am so happy for you, but I know it is bittersweet! Cheers to many new (and fun!) adventures headed your way!

Lea said...

So I left my comment and then when I saw the name by it I was like who the heck is Eric? Oops didn't know Eric was logged in - so anyway just wanted to clarify that it was me! :)

Meg said...

Lea, I think you did that before, too, I've been confused at my admiring, close friend... Eric. Hehee.