As a preface to this, my 100th blog post, I invite you to read my inaugural post, which makes me marvel at how life has come full circle in a few short months.
My little family has walked a lot of road since the day back in January when we decided to move. Now we're standing on the edge of a new road, an unfamiliar and kind of scary road. The adventurous part of me that I cheerfully flaunted a few months ago is warring with the two-year-old part of me that is clinging to her mommy's pant leg, red-faced and screaming her stubborn refusal to budge.
But enough of the dramatic analogies. I'm really just heartbroken to leave.
As I walked through the empty rooms of my house this afternoon, the memories crashed over me in waves. I could almost hear the echoes of mischievous boys bouncing off the walls, crayon murals calling out the dates and times of their creation, and colorful carpet splotches reminding me that play-dough masterpieces, markers, and moon sand are evidence of a childhood well-spent. Standing at the top of the stairs reminded me of the time that Tyler spilled a gallon of paint down them, and in the kitchen I remembered a zillion blonde hair cuts and scores of "Zach-cidents" involving eggs, various baking supplies, and/or electric appliances. Every room was a treasure trove, each filled with gems I want to keep forever.
I didn't expect to be so attached to my house, or to feel so sentimental about it in these final hours. I'm generally not a sentimental person, but I find myself dreading tomorrow morning when I have to walk away from the only home my boys have known. I think that's because they aren't the only ones who have grown up here...I have grown up here, too. While living in this house, I have learned how to be a parent, a neighbor, a friend, and so much more. I know I still have a lot of growing to do, but the lessons I have learned and the experiences I have had during these formative years, when my children were young (and when I was a young wife and parent), are ones that will surely shape the rest of my existence.
That, of course, has nothing to do with the brick-and-mortar building I live in. It is the people that have made my life so rich and wonderful. The people who have taught me that gentleness and kindness are so important. That being irreverent once in a while is okay, too. That nobody is a perfect parent or has the perfect child. That sometimes the best conversations happen in driveways. That crazy road trips, long distance running, embarrassing musical theater, or difficult life experiences can bond people for life. That forgiveness is an essential ingredient in any successful relationship. That there is power in prayer. That friendship can transcend race and religion -- and that it is worth the effort. That giving is better than receiving, but that there's joy in receiving, too. That raising boys is not for the faint of heart. That sometimes children are the best teachers. That time is a gift. That miracles happen every day. But most of all, that the journey of life is made brighter, happier, and more beautiful by the love and support of cherished friends.
A huge band of these friends -- too many to mention -- rallied around our family this week. From watching our children to bringing us food, taking me and/or the kids out on ice cream/pie/lunch dates, giving us boxes, lending us all manner of household goods, packing, cleaning, you name it...these angel friends lightened our load in so many ways. They offered kind words, presents for the kids, and gifts and cards for our family. I feel so loved.
And so the Oregon chapter of our life comes to an end. I can't believe the day has come. Just know, dear Oregon friends, that you are loved and missed already. And if the blogosphere doesn't object too much, you haven't seen the last of us!