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Our house

Too fast. Too fast. Too fast.

That’s what I kept thinking as I was furiously packing and cleaning today. This last four years with my kiddo and me living in our little house together has gone way too fast.

I’m scrambling to write this because it feels important to put it out there, but I’m in that too-tired zone where I’m all emotional and weepy.

Early this afternoon I returned from out of state. One of my friends needed her old college pals. She called me a couple days ago to say her father had a heart attack the morning after he had finished his cancer treatment. He couldn’t be revived.

So another friend and I hopped in the car and do what all good friends do. We were present with her while she got through a couple of the darkest days of her adult life. The circumstances and a eulogy delivered by a best friend in a quavering, love-filled voice left me feeling both gutted and filled with memories and thoughts of my own family and what they mean to me.

Did I mention I’m really emotional?

School's out

The week previous to this, Kiddo completed his last day of high school, and we celebrated big with a party at my parents. At the party, I clipped dozens of pictures to twine. The photos represented each stage of my one and only child’s life. The memories danced in the breeze above the desserts and food. I watched him look at all those pictures with his friends, and just remember.

Kiddo wasn’t happy about moving into this house that now feels less like home because the walls are bare and our things are in boxes. It was the house he and I were going to share after his dad and I split up. He wanted to live in town, and our 1970’s ranch is situated just outside the city limits, in a sprawling sub division. Not quite what he had in mind.

But, we moved our stuff in, painted, planted flowers, and soon it was home – just mine, his, and Very Bad Dog’s home.

Kiddo started high school about two months after we moved into our 3-bedroom, 888-square-foot house. And we lived (mostly) in harmony for four years. We made room for friends, girlfriends, and my soon-to-be husband many nights of the week. But many nights, it was just me and Kiddo.

In two days, Kiddo graduates from high school. In less than one day, we’ll say good-bye to our time here in our house, this time that was mostly just the two of us. What a gift, this time spent with him.

It's a big thing

Tomorrow, we move across the city, to a bigger ranch. Kiddo has something of his own apartment in the basement, and he’ll work and go to school. We move in with my almost-husband (less than two weeks before he’s my real husband!) and my soon-to-be step son. It’s a big thing we’re about to do here.

I find myself teary, sentimental. I’ve never had such a hard time leaving a house. Don’t get me wrong. My guy and I have waited a long time to live together, to be married. It’ll be a new, exciting, loving time with my man and his son and my son.

But I’m sure Kiddo will live with us only for awhile. Before long, he will make his own life. When he packs up to leave our new house, it’ll likely be for good – he’s almost all grown up after all. And again, I’ll think, too fast, too fast, too fast.

I move forward fearlessly, but look backward with a heavy heart. It went too damn fast, this growing up of Kiddo. That’s what the lump in my throat is about.

Still us

Time to make memories in our new house with some new family.

Tomorrow, the sun will rise, and Kiddo and I will join in with family, new and old, and truck our belongings to a new way of living. We’ll unpack, paint, and plant some flowers. Our twosome will double and things will be different in many ways, but we’ll still be Mom and Kiddo. Doesn’t really matter what the address is – we’re still us.

I asked Kiddo last week as I packed another box, out of the three houses he and I had lived in together which one was his favorite. I was sure he’d say the big old farm house where we once lived as a family, when his dad and I were still together.

But he surprised me. Without missing a beat, he replied, “This house.” He went on to tell me why, and all the reasons made sense, but I was still surprised.

And then I thought to myself, we did alright here, Kiddo and me, in our house.

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