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Nineteen years ago, I sat in this same room. I sat on a box in a room full of boxes and thought, “What have we done?”

Here I am again, sitting on a box in a room full of boxes asking myself, “What have we done?”

This house was the landscape of building our family. We arrived as 2 and we are leaving as 6. A lot happened between 2 and 6 on Ridgeway Avenue.

Babies came.

Sleep left.

My boobs dropped.

I read Goodnight Moon 793 times.

Kindergarten arrived.

Little League led to basketball, soccer, softball, volleyball, and that unfortunate pitstop in track.

All the while, Ridgeway Avenue was the backdrop. It was our soft spot to fall. Our neighbors became our people.

There were lemonade stands. Mr. and Mrs. Hendren tipped 5000% on watered down lemonade yet raved it was the “best dang lemonade” ever.

There were late nights of Ghost in the Graveyard.

There was street hockey, backyard baseball and driveway hoops.

There were drinks in the driveway.

There were flooded basements and Donna to save the day with her shopvac.

There were meals when babies came and cookies when Mrs. Cox could see we needed a little pick-me-up.

There was a gate between my backyard and my neighbor’s backyard so our kiddos and dogs could freely romp between our houses.

There were sticks of butter shared, bottles of wine emptied and time passed.

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I loved this house so much- I used to joke that my next move would be to assisted living. I just smiled when people would comment, “I can’t believe you’re raising such a big family in such a small house.” Behind my smile, I was crafting hateful defenses of my beloved Cape Cod. It wasn’t too small- it was charming!

Yet here I am, sitting on a box, saying goodbye to this house. Tomorrow, we will move a whopping one block to a bigger house. When I whined to my sweet neighbor Mrs. Turk about leaving this house, she responded, “This is where you brought your babies home and the new house will be where you spoil your grandchildren.”

So, tonight I’ll walk through this house one more time and remember that Sam learned to crawl in the family room, Gus took his first steps in that hallway, Kitty busted out of her crib in this room, Meg spoke her first word (ball) in the driveway while we all went wild, we carried our sweet dog Shelby out that door for her last trip to the vet, and the kitchen bore witness to years of dinner shenanigans, squabbling, homework struggles, and laughing.

Goodnight, growth chart on the basement door. Goodnight, house.



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