Months Seven & Eight: Home & Forever

“Can we stay here forever?” Her sister asks.

She’s obsessed with the idea of forever lately. “Can I keep you forever?” is her daily, heart-wrenching request. Three and a half years, and eight months. If I could keep them forever, I would. The first time she asked, I cried silently in the darkness of our shared bedroom. It was time for sleep and I was thankful she couldn’t see my tears.

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“Mom, take this picture!” she commands and I listen because she’s right. These are moments I want to capture.

Now as we settle into our new home, I just want time to stand still. Eight months have escaped through my fingers, despite my whole-hearted desire to hold on tight. The first time, those baby months moved slowly. The second I can hardly believe I’m already chasing a wiggly body across the floor.

In April, we found out we had to move. We knew it was a temporary home, but a new baby had me more deeply nested than I ever expected. As I stood on the front porch in my pajamas, reading the notice in sleep-deprived disbelief, I felt cheated.

My baby was not even three months old and all I wanted to do was snuggle and drink her in. We were finally finding our groove as a family of four and the last thing I wanted to do was spend a month of my life packing all our worldly belongings and looking for a new place to live. Even the little strawberries E tended outside our front door pulled at my heart, tears when I saw they’d finally ripened for her the day after all our stuff had been moved.

Little did I know it was exactly the push we needed.

A couple years ago I drew a picture. Four stick people stood happy in front of a simple home with two dogs, a large garden, and chickens. The smallest stick figure was a baby I didn’t know yet. A baby we had yet to create. Nearby I drew a Waldorf school. In my mind I was drawing a life somewhere far away. Oregon, maybe. I had no idea this would all come together just 15 minutes down the road.

Around the same time we started packing, a sweet friend found out she had to move for her husband’s job. I’d loved their huge backyard and an idea hit me—maybe we could buy their house if the timing worked out. Shyly I texted her and then kept on packing. It was then I found the picture, long forgotten, but still very much alive in my subconscious.
And, sure enough, all the pieces came together. We lived with family for a few months while we waited and then moved into exactly the house I’d drawn years before. Even the mysterious fourth family member had materialized, the Waldorf school, and the chickens. To add to the magic, my friend told me her daughter had started praying for E months before we even knew we had to move. I think her prayers helped bring us here.

Sometimes life feels too good to be true. I always get nervous when I have this feeling, like if I start breathing again I’ll wake up from the dream. So as her sister asks if we can stay forever, my heart aches a little. We’re in a sweet spot right now, even as the outside world seems to crumble around us.

Month eight and she says, “Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom,” in her little baby voice, again and again. I don’t know how she’s gotten so big already, but then I look at her sister and know how quickly everything changes. If I could really keep them both forever, I would.

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Simple, happy moments in our new backyard… And, no, those aren’t both my beers.

6 thoughts on “Months Seven & Eight: Home & Forever

  1. Once again you write about your experience in a way that makes me feel so much and remember so much. The thing about E wanting “forever” just reminds me of how kids that age feel every moment of their lives to the fullest possible extent. It is all they know. And all of the things that are to come are beyond them. All they know is that this moment is it and they want it forever. I think adults could learn a thing from this.

    And your experience with your new home. Embrace it and enjoy it as long as it can possibly last. It’s interesting … our first home felt that way to a large extent. We moved into a brand new neighborhood, surrounded by other new families. A few months later, our first was born and than a couple of years after, our second. And that cul-de-sac we lived in was wonderful. With so many kids for ours to play with and the veggie garden in the back and the 25 rose bushes that I planted and pruned and the crepe myrtle tree in the front that was beautiful and we just seemed to be in the right place at the right time while we lived there. It wasn’t perfect, of course, there were issues. But I’d love to go back to those years and re-live them.

    There is something, and I’m sure you get tired of me saying this but I’m going to do it anyway, something so incredibly beautiful and innocent and glorious about the life you are in now with your kids and the bounty of good things coming your way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always appreciate your comments. And, I think that’s it– I realize how fleeting it all is. Things feel right at the moment and they don’t always. I had this same feeling around this time when E was a baby, too. It’s a sweet spot.

      It’s funny hearing you write about your first house. The first we bought was special to us, but it wasn’t where we wanted to raise kids, so we sold it and picked something more temporary (but kid-friendly) while we figured out what was next. Now we have those things you talk about– other young families, a garden, even a crepe myrtle. I was just telling Alex I wanted to plant roses 😉

      I’m doing my best to appreciate this season while it lasts, even if it’s also hard when both kids are screaming and I just want dinner to finish making itself. Compared to much of the world, it’s a very innocent, beautiful place to be. I feel grateful when I slow down to pay attention.

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