Home : New Home – Kelly Sager – Medium
So, we’re moving. And I’ve lived here longer than I’ve lived anywhere as an adult. We bought this house 9 years ago. I think we had been living here 1 day, when I brought home a tiny little 5-month-old black pug from a farm house in Frankenmuth. I dreamed of her for years, and had to wait until I had a house to get my first dog. My Suz. I got married to Martin a year later, after dating for 9. It was so much fun. Somehow still feeling like you’re pretending to play adult, as if playing makes it less scary or leaves you less responsible. Newlyweds in our new house. I changed, slowly somehow, from a 20-something adult to a 30-something adult. I grew up. I got pregnant with Jack. It was the most exciting, dreaming of this little boy. I made him a nursery, painted green with little brown trees and animals on the walls. And I then I came home from vacation, without him. I thought I might die of sadness inside this house. I mourned him here, crying in every room, with Suz on my lap, assuring me she wouldn’t leave me and that I would survive. I put his urn on a shelf in the nursery filled with smooth rocks and shells and feathers. Summer came, and in the walls of this house we kept going — somehow. We burned things in a makeshift bonfire. I did yoga on the back deck. We tried again and nothing and nothing. We got help. I cried a lot. Painting in the basement, trying to be “relaxed” after having a procedure that I would find out in a few weeks would help us with our dream — Alice. But things still went wrong. Then bed rest. 22 weeks of this home literally being my entire world, more than ever before. Warm summer days in bed, binge watching netflix, and googling every scary symptom, feeling her kicks and eating all the fruit. Crying, hoping, wondering. In these walls I dreamed about a baby I wasn’t sure I’d ever meet. And then, just like that one day….there she was — — Alice.
The first baby of ours to come home living. Her first laugh, her first step on these floors. Her head asleep on my chest. The things she saw that I never did like the cracks in the wood floors and the spots the raindrops make on the cement porch. And then another snowy morning one day — peeing on another stick, and we learned about Everett. I spent the whole summer playing with Alice in this backyard, little boy in my belly growing, and me dreaming about him. My son. And then one morning my water broke all over the kitchen floor. This kitchen floor. Dark gray beautiful tile that my dad helped us install. And then, there he was — — Everett.
And suddenly we were five.
In this house which had turned into a home while we weren’t looking. Suz got sick and had surgery. Every night I picked up her little furry body carefully as to not rip the stitches, so she could sleep curled next to me. She’s been there for years. Everett was crawling and then suddenly running. Their little faces pressed up against the window screen yelling “Hiiii!!!!” together to anyone walking by. There are always so many people walking by. Our backyard is wild. The grass is long and in the spring there are purple violets and yellow dandelions everywhere. Alice picks them, endlessly. We have a garden and a sandbox that martin built, and the kids spend hours in there. This home is full of sand. So much sand. The kitchen is awkward and small, and the garage is full of junk. Some of the windows don’t open. We don’t have doors on any of the closets. In May there is always an ant problem.
In the early evening I sit on the couch and write or read next to the open window, and I see so many green trees and the orange dim light of a fading sunset. My children are sleeping in their little rooms, I’m sure they are warm probably too warm since we don’t have a/c…but they are where they belong and where they belong is right here. My husband lays on the couch, his standard relaxing position, next to the fishtank because they relax him, and him there relaxed, relaxes me. and he’s still so handsome as ever with his disheveled hair and the beard he swears he keeps only for me. And it’s like I never realized. When you’re in it, you just can’t always see it. And I’m crying because I know I need to say goodbye. It’s time. This place was perfectly imperfect and I spent a long time thinking about oh I wish this was different or this was better or this was bigger. And it was only until it was time to go that I realized what makes a house grow into a home are the memories that feed it. Nine years. The most important nine years of my life.
It’s hard when you find yourself in a moment, and you feel it slipping. You’re in it, and you’re trying to grab it while it’s still yours, but no matter what you’re going to be too slow and suddenly it’s just a memory.