(The past few months have been a blur of days. I wouldn’t have believed it was actually months, even, if I didn’t know better. The momentum picked up so fast, some days I wasn’t sure I could take it. The only thing saving my sanity right now is the knowledge that we won’t be likely to go through all of this ever again.)
The last night in the old house was a difficult one. We stuck to the routine, eating dinner together and getting the baby ready for bed.
There are a lot of memories imbedded in the strata of that house, particularly for Sophie (I really should stop calling her “the baby” by now, I know).
It was more difficult than I expected. Emotional. This is the place where she was born — well, she was born in the hospital but this is where she was conceived (which is another story altogether). These floors were the ones that supported her first steps. That wall was where my wife pinned up a piece of paper with the crayon scribbles on it so Sophie could learn her colors. This was the corner where she would play Peekaboo with us. This was where the picture of Athena hung, here’s where the owl statue guarded the stairs…
In a lot of ways, the place was more than a bit shabby. But we knew we were more fortunate than others, so we made do. Nonetheless, I’m glad to be out of it . . . glad to be settled in our new place, a place that — if the gods are kind — we’ll be for a very long time to come.
But there’s a twinge there, of leaving something behind. Forever.
It’s a feeling I know well — too well, perhaps.
The first night was a jumble. Even though Sophie’s room was set up almost identically to her old one — everything in the same place as before — she wasn’t quite falling for it. She’d spent the day clinging to her mom (the first and best security anyone ever has or needs) and reassuring herself. Her little voice saying “I okay” from time to time was heartbreaking.
But she was, in the end, okay. We all were.
Exhausted, unable to sleep, I busied myself as best I could until I finally fell into bed beside my wife. As I lay back, I saw something unexpected.
Even though she was exhausted, I woke Keeley so she could see the moon, framed there in the window of our bedroom.
— — —
The new house is, slowly, coming together. The room that will eventually be my office is a jumble of boxes and furniture, impossible to imagine as anything else. It reminds me of nothing so much as the landfill that Edgar and Jee pass through on their way to the fox’s lair in Assam & Darjeeling — subconsciously influenced, I suspect, by the junkyard episode of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth.
No idea why that image would be stuck in my mind right now — must have something to do with transporting countless boxes filled with the flotsam and jetsam from five lives.
We’re chipping away at it all, bit by bit. I’m hoping to get most everything more or less squared away in the next week (or two).