The decision to move came somewhat out of left field for us. We knew it was something we should do before the baby arrived. And since we’re not even pregnant yet, we would have likely been fine in our current apartment for quite some time. But, alas, we’re moving in two days.
As I pack what’s collectively become Sara’s and mine over the past two years, as I take down the pictures from the walls, and as I walk around an apartment that’s slowly looking less and less like home, it’s strange to think that our child will never know the home in which she or he first became a twinkle star.
This is the first place Sara and I lived together. Our first home together. It’s where we became moms to the four-legged kind when we rescued our sweet Darla. It’s where we celebrated our first Christmas. Had our first marital fight. Ordered Thai food every Monday night. It’s where we first learned who sucks at washing dishes and who has a terrible habit of not brushing her teeth before bed. This is where we lived when her parents agreed to meet me after two years and ten days of loving their daughter. This is where we lived when I asked Sara to marry me. This is where we lived when we decided to have a baby.
As I look at the becoming-bare walls, I try to remember them as they were — remembering the first days after we moved in. Sitting in the window seat, looking out on the street, waiting for Sara to come home from work. I remember when the city had to replace a pipeline; they needed to undo the cobblestone street stone by stone. The pile of cobblestones sat on the sidewalk for days while they repaired the pipeline. One evening, while walking our dog, I told Sara how much I’d love one of those cobblestones as a keepsake of our first home together. She laughed at me.
“Babe, it’s just a brick,” she said.
I always have been the sentimental type.
I box up our dishes. Pots. Pans. Boxes of tampons (Yes, we have boxes. Two women in the house, what can I say). I toss clothes I haven’t worn since I met Sara. And I hire a moving company. I’ve moved an outrageous amount of times in my 34 years of life, some by choice, others having been decided for me through breakups — yes, I’ve been dumped; can you imagine? — but all moves have always accompanied a constant struggle of becoming who I am.
Except for this move. There is no struggle.
But there is an entirely new feeling that I can’t quite pinpoint. It’s not exactly sadness. Perhaps reflection of the future. Can you do that? Can you reflect from the future? I don’t know, but that’s what it feels like. I think of so many of “our first” memories in this home while I pack, and it’s a strange — I do not know what other word to use to describe it — feeling. To know that these are times and here are memories that our child will never know. Sure, we can share the stories. But this is life without our baby. So much is about to change. And while I so much so look forward to the future with the family we are about to create, I don’t ever want to forget these moments.
I am glad we’re moving before the baby, before the pregnancy even. I’m glad I have all of myself to focus on this time, and don’t have the added stress and emotions of doing any of this while I’m pregnant. I’m glad I can recall everything this home has meant to us over the years, and put each memory in its proper box.
But mostly, I’m glad Sara surprised me one day with a stolen cobblestone from the first street on which we ever called home.
Read more of Aela’s writing at Two Moms Make A Right