It starts with the obvious.
This is the last time we’ll stay in this house when we visit my family in Ohio.
It moves on to the slightly ridiculous.
It’s the last time we’ll order pizza from Marsella’s. The last time Dad will make chocolate milkshakes in this kitchen. The last time we’ll grill in this backyard. The last time I’ll walk barefoot up this driveway.
Hey, this is the last time I’ll take a shower in the basement! (Yay!)
It ends with the sentimental.
It’s the last night I’ll sleep in my childhood bedroom. The last time we’ll all be here together.
Last weekend, I said goodbye to my childhood home.
After 19 years, my parents are leaving the house we moved into the summer before my 8th grade year. It’s the house I have the clearest memories in, the one I most associate with growing up.
I can still picture the way my bedroom looked when I was a teenager who blasted angsty music on a loop from my sleek(ish) black boombox. I can see the X-Files and Jim Thome posters scotch-taped to the back of the door. The hand-me-down 13-inch black and white TV propped up on the wooden bookshelf. The impressively vast collection of pink stuffed pigs.
I remember the morning I hugged my brother goodbye in the kitchen of that house as he packed up and left for college. I remember navigating my first car up the driveway of that house 15 minutes after proudly buying it. I remember eating cheesecake squares in the basement of that house during my high school graduation party.
I remember the day I packed up my bedroom to move to Arizona. I remember the time I brought my six-month-old baby back to that house and introduced him to his cousins.
It’s a three-bedroom ranch, the perfect house for a young family of four. But young families age and change, and the house is no longer perfect for a couple with two grown children, their spouses and four grandchildren. For one thing, the dining room can only hold about half of our crew. (A good problem to have as far as problems go, but still, it makes everything from a casual pizza lunch to a full-on holiday dinner somewhat of a challenge.)
It’s time for my parents to move on.
I’m excited for them to get everything they want and deserve out of their next home, a brand new house that will come equipped with the exact layout and countertops and flooring and paint colors they choose. (Also, I don’t mind that the set-up in the new house is going to be more ideal for us when we visit with our kid.)
Still, my heart ached a bit at the end of the weekend as we packed up our car and began to pull away.
I rolled down my window and called out to my parents, “It’s the last time we back out of the driveway!”
My mom sighed and rolled her eyes as my dad called back, “If you ever want to do it again, just drive by and pull into the driveway. I’m sure the new owners won’t mind.”
Good point. Maybe I will.