I'm almost beginning to believe we're actually going to move. The countdown is running to the day when we'll pack out of 'Old Drafty' and take up operations in our new digs once and for all. I can't say it's going to be easy to leave this place. We've invested 20 years of our lives in the old barn, raised our kids here, made it our home, loved it and hated it. It's been a project that I'm just running our of ambition to work on anymore. But no matter what, it's the first and only house we've ever owned and so I'll miss it.
The reality of it all comes down to the fact that sooner than we think, Chris and I will be empty-nesters. The guys are sneaking through being teenagers on us and already looking out the door and down the road. They've grown like the proverbial weeds and emptied the refrigerator twice a week for the last year.
Even Connor is almost looking me straight in the eye these days. The desperately sick baby who only had about a 50/50 chance of ever walking or talking is now my jazz man and calls me 'Dirt' because to him, that's how old I am. I think of that awful day when we handed him to a surgeon and wondered if we'd ever see him again in this world. He became our 'Miracle Child' when the tumor came out and my son came home to live and grow up. He can call me anything he wants as long as he calls me Dad once in a while.
Seneca passed me in altitude long ago and is on his way to being a big man in more ways than one. He came home from the maternity floor to a screaming Nor'easter that buried our old house in more snow than I'd seen in a lot of years. The snow was over the top of my van and kept two brand-new parents pretty worried about being stranded in the creaky house with a newborn. I shoveled for days to dig out and wished for global warming. I still wonder every time his birthday rolls around if we'll get a repeat of 'Seneca's Blizzard'.
There's a million memories kicking around here but ours are only the latest. Who knows how many kids have passed through this place in a hundred years or how many more will follow before it's gone? We're hoping another young family will move in like we did and make pencil marks on the door to chart their kids on the way up. Someone to fill it with dogs and noise, fresh paint and piles of laundry. It's a big and quirky house and it needs a new brood to keep it loud and alive, full of comings and goings so it never has a chance to get too old. It needs a fresh blast of baby cribs and stuffed animals, a new batch of local musketeers to parade to the 'fridge and another late winter storm to go down in the record books. The change will be good for all of us.