So last week we moved.
I’ve always found it odd—and kind of whiny—when people make a big deal about moving. Especially if they’re into a larger/better/“dream” home.
Well, here I am, just moved into a home with the space I’ve been wanting for years, and I am whining. Wah.
Y’all, moving is haaaaard.
The boxes! The boxes are everywhere! And all of the things. All of the silly, dumb things we do not need, like an unopened “Toss the Pig” game one of the kids received as a birthday present years ago. This is our first time to move with kids, and our four children have more stuff than I know what to do with. Literally, I don’t know what to do with it. Much of it was stored in our last house’s attic—I would shove things up there with the intent of selling/donating/dealing with them later.
Well, it’s later.
I find myself moving boxes aimlessly from one room to the next, hoping they might eventually walk themselves to the local donation center. Or perhaps someone will show up with a wad of cash in exchange for all of it. Neither scenario is likely, especially the latter, so the stuff continues to sit and bother me.
Also, I can’t find anything (except the “Toss the Pig” game). The kids wanted to make Father’s Day cards for their dad last weekend, but we couldn’t find the paper. Even more inconvenient, we’ve misplaced our bed. Not the entire bed, but a whole set of king size metal bed rails. How in the world? We’ve looked all over, but it’s not like the rails will turn up in a random box or under a stack of pillows. They’re huge and awkward and heavy—they didn’t roll, unnoticed, under the sofa or behind the dresser. So we’re doing the college thing, mattress/box springs on the floor, which makes the bed irresistible to small children. To kids, mattress on the floor = trampoline. This situation has yielded much hollering. Where are my bed rails???
Lost bed aside, we’re a little more settled every day that passes. The kids are happy here, and I’m happy, too, but I’m surprised at how long it’s taking me to feel comfortable here. I’m still not there yet. The house is about 30 years old and well loved, with drawers that stick and 90s-era bathtubs. Not a tragedy, but it feels—not mine. I spend too much time on Pinterest, looking up paint colors and budget bathroom makeovers, anxious I to put my stamp on this place so it feels like my own. We built our last house, and everything was shiny and new and chosen by me when we moved in 12 years ago. But this house—it feels like somebody else’s.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad we moved here. Yesterday I sat on the huge front porch in a rocking chair the (wonderful) sellers left behind, and I marveled at our good fortune. But I miss what’s comfortable and familiar, the place where I knew which light switch to use and how to operate the microwave.
“I want to go home,” I told my husband the other day. A strange thing to say when I am home, but he knew what I meant.
It just doesn’t feel like home. Not yet.
(Betsy Swenson can be reached at email@example.com.)