Thursday, July 26, 2018

Moving On

I walk through my home in Plainfield, the one where we raised our kids into adults and shared laughter, memories, tears, sadness, elation, and plenty of bad dancing.
Not to mention ball busting...
...and where we gathered every weekend as a family of four.
Today I don't even recognize where we sat around the island and enjoyed Apéritif Fridays for years. All of our remaining belongings - every last one of them in that home - are on display in stacks with pieces of cheap masking tape and an arbitrary price tag attached. We are selling it all - every last belonging here - in order to move on in life.

I liken my feelings about this week to when we dropped our firstborn off at college. Reflective? Sure. Emotional? Yes. But not in the way most would think.

We planned this move for years. In fact, I became a Wisconsin resident in 2014, and Mr. Musky finally followed me last December. We talked for years about moving to our version of paradise on earth, and even considered moving the kids eight years ago. But we waited until Jake finished high school, and now our dreams and plans are finally coming to fruition. On Monday Mr. Musky and I will take one final walk through the house, turn off the lights, and close the door behind us forever.

Our kids are sad - really sad. And I get that. But I also know that a house does not make a home - it's the people who do. Having lived in fifteen homes previously, I have at least four more in me. Current cabin. Rental home upon demolition of the cabin. New home where cabin once stood.

Nursing home. I'm not naive.

Each move brought challenges, of course. But they also brought memories. Would I trade the memories from the crappy rental home in Lockport where we lived for four months before our Plainfield home was complete?
Never in a million years. That home had a laundry chute, and Mr. Musky spied something hanging in there. After several minutes of struggling to reach the item with a broomstick, he pulled out the most magical pair of giant, stained granny panties. The sheer horror on his face followed by a girlie squeal of disgust as he dropped them to the floor is forever etched into my mind. So are the sweet faces on my little toddlers when we played tea party and construction gang every afternoon in the dusty family room.
Or when we snuggled together in the room they shared while I read Harry Potter to them before bedtime. Or when I bathed them in the pink bathtub because the house didn't have a shower.

My kids will come to recall their Plainfield home with fondness and memories of a great childhood, just like I did with the thirteen homes before that scuzzy rental house. From age 16 to 21 alone, I lived in eight different residences. Every single one of them provided memories to last a lifetime, and you know what? I mainly remember the good stuff, because it trumps the bad. I wouldn't trade a single one of those homes for stability during those years. Through it all the constant remained - my mom and dad - and they are always part of my "home."

So while I understand my kids' sadness, I'm grateful we were able to provide them with consistency over the years, and I also know they will build on those happy memories with every new place they lay down roots. Whether in Madison or France or New York City or California, they will approach every transition with reflection, excitement, and yes - perhaps a bit of melancholy, too.

It's all good. Really good. And over time, I know they'll come to understand that and have perspective, just like their Dad and I do.

In the meantime, if you're local to Plainfield, come join us on our patio for an apéritif on Friday night from 7:00 - 10:00. But please leave by ten, because we're old, we have to be out of the house by 8:00 am the next day, and mama can't hold her liquor like she once could.

Big love to everyone who supported us through this. Please keep loving on my kids when you see them, and let us know when you're in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. We love visitors!

XOXO,
Jen



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