I have lived in the same house my whole life. I know what stair steps creak, and which ones you can count on to be silent as you sneak out to a band party. The rosebushes in the garden are older than I am. In the backyard is a slide my grandpa built for me as a present on my first birthday, the swings he made for my third birthday, and the merry-go-round he made for my fifth birthday. The family album has pictures of me standing on the brick fence when I was four. Mom and I planted gardens in the backyard, and grandpa helped get rid of the gophers. My bedroom is painted purple, with floral wallpaper on one wall. It’s been like that since I was seven.
When my fiancé, Matt, and I announced our engagement, I was enthralled with trying on wedding gowns, sewing bunting, and choosing Save the Date’s. We went through a pre-marital counseling workbook, and we talked about a lot of topics listed on APW (where it lists what needs to be discussed prior to marriage). Through all this, I was emotionally fine. Excited, yes, and full of anticipation.
But then last night, all of a sudden I was hit with a wave of fear and sadness. I’m leaving home for good. This isn’t like when I went away to college, because then, I came home on weekends and summers and Christmas break. My address is officially changing for the first time in my life. Mom isn’t going to wake me up in the morning. I’m not going to share a room with my five year old sister. I won’t separate my grandpa’s mail from my parent’s mail. I won’t listen to Dad grumble about the liberal media as he washes the dinner dishes.
Dealing with moving away for good is really difficult. On the one hand, I want to deny my emotions, hoping that they will eventually go away. Another part of me wants to fully enjoy this last summer, spending as much of it with my family as possible. Because though I will live only 45 minutes from home, I won’t be home for every impromptu hot dog roast in the back yard, and I won’t get to try every experimental loaf of bread. My sister won’t tell me about her science projects while we eat dinner, and I’m not going to hear about every mishap she’s gotten into or what cute thing she said that day.
Instead, I’m going to do all that with Matt. My role is going to be different, transitioning from daughter to wife. Instead of being the one woken up, it’s eventually going to be me waking someone up. I won’t just show up for family outings or dinners. I’ll be the one putting them together. My role of being a supporting member of the family is changing to a lead member of the family. And that’s really exciting.
I’m going to miss my childhood home. Oh, I’ll miss it dreadfully. But I am so excited for the next 65 years with Matt and our future children.