At some point after making the foray into adulthood, there’s a moment where you really wonder if you’re officially an adult. Maybe this moment comes when you have a milestone birthday, when you buy your first home, when you have a baby, when you get married, when you get that promotion at work or some other event in your life that makes you realize you truly are an adult. For me, I think the adult moment I’m really looking forward to is owning a home. We’re looking, and looking and looking some more…
I’m saddened to tell you that the house I grew up in in a beautiful New Jersey suburb is going on the market next month because my parents are moving! It’s made me realize that my parents are nearing retirement age, that I won’t have that “home” to go home to anymore and that I’m getting older too. And that change is inevitable.
With change comes new opportunities and experiences, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sad about this particular change. Just about every memory of growing up was in that house — my first dog, childhood play dates, making cookies with my mom, playing in the snow in the backyard, doing homework on the kitchen table and spending time with my grandparents. Grandparents who would faithfully pick my brother and me up at school and make sure we had an afternoon snack and our homework done. I have memories of my nanny, my mom’s mom, who would get up with us at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning and sneak down the stairs to go shake presents well before anyone else rolled out of bed. And newer memories like redoing the bathroom and getting ready on my wedding day in the beautiful natural light that poured in.
These are memories that come rushing to the surface now more than ever as I realize that the house I love will no longer be a place where I’ll make new memories in the years to come.
I will no longer be able to go to that home. And it stings. A lot.
But sometimes, becoming an adult is about letting go.
My childhood home was a place to sleep, a place to come home to and to pass the time.
Yes it was my home, but I think I took it for granted. Now I’d do anything to make sure we never let it go…
Why is this hitting me hard? Because I’m losing my only real “home.” My parents always let me weigh in on important decisions, like what color to paint and how to decorate. I really feel that our NJ house has a piece of me in it and our current rental does not. AT ALL.
I won’t be there to help my parents pack up my things and I won’t be there to officially say goodbye when the ink dries and my family no longer officially owns the house that I never fully appreciated until now.
Maybe I wanted to hold on to these pieces of my childhood to ensure these memories will never fade.
Maybe I’m scared I’ll forget them if the house is no longer ours. Or maybe in the back of my mind, I always dreamt of buying the house although it’s laughably outside our budget. I think I’m grappling with the change — the change of losing one constant I’ve had my entire life.
Maybe the sale of our house will teach me how to let go although it feels like someone died.
Where am I now? I’m in France and we’re house hunting. Having a place we call “home” in France is something I desperately want and need. A place to make our own with photos and décor and new memories of this chapter in the book of life. I’m looking forward to buying a place in France no matter where we end up because having a home is something I need now more than ever.