I’ve been at a bittersweet place the last week or so as our time in Florida draws to an end. I drive down streets and think, “This is the last time I’ll come here,” or I keep thinking of reasons to go somewhere just one more time before the move. My kids finished school last week and I was surprised by how sad I was to not see these teachers and parents that our lives have become entwined with. I want to squeeze these moments in and really feel them, really enjoy each second until it is all done with.
Trips to our favorite places that have become ours. Our restaurant, our park, our pool, our gym and school and Target and library. These places that have become so familiar it is odd to think how they won’t be in our routine anymore. It is really weird to create relationships with people and a city and to have it come to an end. I grew up in one town until I was 21. Same schools, same kids, same friends, same everything. This is my new(ish) reality, a reality that I enjoy as I get restless after awhile. I like moving and seeing the country, but my sentimental and mushy heart gets in the way sometimes.
My house is another place that makes me look around and really see it, probably for the first time in years. The little nooks and crannies, the memories in a home that have stamped themselves on my heart. Molly learned how to crawl in here, stand up and take her first steps. Brady jumped from his bouncy seat in this doorway, he inched along on his belly over there. My bedroom, my bathroom, my closet, all personal places for me and soon someone else will call this home and it is so hard to wrap my mind around. I won’t live here anymore. Someone else will. I will see it again, because we own it and who knows? Perhaps we will be back, but it won’t ever be exactly as it is now.
The funny thing is, I’ve done this many times before. I’ve moved four times with the military and every one is the same. Places, friends, homes…all are missed and pined for and every single time I get acquainted with a new place and settle in and before long I can’t imagine living anywhere else. This knowledge is what makes uprooting myself and my family easier.
I know we will be okay.
We will settle into a new house and love it, we will find new routines and make new friends and create a new life just as great as the one we have here. I know that. Yet this last month makes me feel that something is ending. An era? A way of life? Something is ending and the new beginning is unknown and that is scary.
I want to soak in every second, take that look back and a moment to stand in my empty house and mourn a little. I’ll probably cry, and my husband will take me by the hand and we will load up in the car with the kids and leave. We will start our new adventure, a cross country drive that will bring us new experiences and memories. I can’t wait to see what this next adventure brings, even if I have to toughen up my heart and squeeze out the last drops of our time here. Three and a half weeks and counting. You coming with me?