This, apparently, my cry night after night in our new Richmond house when I was three, almost four. I remember bits and pieces of the move: waving goodbye to our New Orleans house with the Halloween decorations up, seeing the new house without any furniture. (I conveniently forgot the several-day road trip with my mom, aunt, and a cat howling in a crate in the back seat.) It took nights of waking my parents up crying for me to adjust to the new house.
I expected something similar from at least one or two of our three kids and definitely from the dog, who always senses change and paces the house whining. Though Tex did his fair share of pacing while I packed boxes, as soon as we put down the familiar rug in the new TV room, he was golden. As for the kids? It’s like nothing happened. They didn’t really care about saying goodbye to the old house (something I planned to do and then scrapped after an exhausting day Tuesday) and have slept great every night. Well. Except for Lincoln, who keeps getting bloody noses in the night. But that’s nothing new and nothing to do with the move.
It feels anticlimactic, but maybe it really just feels RIGHT. Despite the fact that so many things are still in boxes, this house feels like home. Already. I love it. LOVE. IT. Everything from the floors and how they feel on my bare feet to the darkness of our much more country neighborhood. The spacious kitchen, the new toy room, the quiet from room with it’s bay window and cool afternoon light. The walks around the block with the whole family and the trail leading to a few acres of woods—real WOODS—across the street.
There are definite things I missed about our old house, which also felt like home, but this transition has been so seamless. This home fits us. It’s ours. We still need to hang photos and finish with the boxes and fence the yard (and finish cleaning all the razor blades and broken glass and nails from the grass) and find the right kitchen cabinets for all our things. But even without all those things done, we feel settled. All of us.
Tex doesn’t whine or pace (other than by the back door for one of several daily walks). Cooper marches happily through the hallways, loving the space and freedom. The boys run through the hall (sometimes screaming) and have built block towers and new creations and are getting great traction out of their bikes. “Let’s have an adventure,” they like to say when we take the trail that cuts through by a dry bayou bed and into another neighborhood. Rob, the one who didn’t like this house the first time he saw it, even texted me today when he arrived home: I love our house.
Do you remember your first home or first move? Have you ever felt right at home in a place, or did it usually take some time? I’d love to hear your stories.