Friday, June 1, 2012

Moving Away from our Little Birds

Living inside a hundred year old house there are lots of little surprises built in the walls. Up against the inside wall in my girls bedroom is an old chimney that leads to a covered-up fireplace in the dining room downstairs (oh, if I only owned this house...). Twice a year, like clockwork, just when you find you need a little lift, you hear it in my girls room. Peep peep peep peep peep. Our little birds are back! I am sure these are the great-grandchildren to the first ones we heard years ago. We are so happy when they return! One of my girls will hear them first and call to the rest of us --the birds are back, the birds are back!! We all take turns putting our ears against the wall and hearing them stretch around their nests, calling to their mamas for tasty worms. Peep peep peep peep they go on and on for a few weeks, and then suddenly-- they are gone. And we are sad, but wish them well as they leave their nest.

This morning I put my ear against the wall and whispered encouraging words to our babies, feeling especially poignant as it is looking like this will be our last time to hear our friends. Who will make sure the house doesn't get tented during baby bird season? Who will love them like we do?

We have been in the middle of a short sale for almost a year, and it looks like - barring any complications - the sale will go through and we will get our own house. It's good news, and a great house that has a big back yard with a gorgeous oak tree in the middle of it; but I can't help but feel sad. We've spent eight years of our life here. I brought home two babies to this house, sent two to kindergarten, had parties and birthday parties, and happy times and sad times. We put together homework projects and paraded new clothes and changed diapers and put up Christmas trees and welcomed trick-or-treaters and watched fireworks off the end of the dock. We had a boat and then didn't have a boat and fished and watched sunsets. We had times of feast and times of famine. I get mad and embarrassed sometimes about how overly sentimental I can be, but I feel like the house knows we are leaving and I feel sadness about it. As a history nerd I love to look at the rooms and think of all the happy families before us, what conversations were held in the dining room in the twenties and if the family listened to the radio in the living room during WW2. I know that Palmetto  High School had their senior who's who pictures taken here in the fifties. I wonder what kind of cars sat in the driveway and if a woman in 1910 wearing gloves would be horrified that I run up and down the stairs in shorts and barefooted. I can tell you which windows were moved and how the house was changed over time. I wonder if a mother sent her son to war from here and if she cried nights looking at the same moon out the same windows. Agh, see, I'm too sentimental.

But then I think, it's a good thing I feel scared and sad to leave this house. It means we were happy, it means we had a good life here. I would love to stay here if we could, but we are renters and we've been paying eight years of rent. I am determined to make new memories at our new house.  It's a good thing, I am just feeling like we are leaving behind a part of our life that we can't ever get back because children grow and people grow and now I have wrinkles I didn't have when we first moved in.

This is the first New Year's Resolution that I've ever kept this long, to try to appreciate what I have in the moment, my family and friends and happy things before we leave them behind for a new moment. Sometimes it's hard to remember what came before, I can't remember what Laura's voice sounded like when she was three, but boy can I remember sleepless nights with Jack screaming. So I try to enjoy this time and try to look forward to the future and the opportunity to have new happy moments. And I hope that whoever comes in here after us will feel it's a happy place and take care of it. And take care of our little birds.
(my own little birds a few years ago)


  1. Oh Amy, this is such a sweet post. I'm going to miss that house too. But I'm thrilled for you to start fresh in a new home. Just think of all of the new decorating you get to do. Congratulations!

    It's funny because we've had baby birds in our bathroom vent this time of year for the past few years too. Everyone tells us we should clear them out but I kind of love the little chirping and watching the parents teach the babies how to fly from our vent to the gutters on the house next door. So sweet.

    Here's to making new memories! xo.

  2. Exactly -- don't ever clear them out! It feels like it's so hard to experience nature like that if you don't live in the country. I just love it!


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