The memories that sit beyond the Blu Tack which hold the children’s artwork in place, the sporting ribbons proudly taped to the railings of the staircase or a kids growth chart written in permanent marker on the inside of a kitchen cupboard. The stubborn crayon drawing of Shrek that will forever grin from the back of the bathroom door. The barely imperceptible vomit stain in the hallway from a moment years ago when your youngest child failed to make it to the bathroom. Countless wee marks because the dogs have poked their heads through the dog door, taken one look at the weather outside and decided that your Aubusson rug is a much better alternative.
The myriad dings and scrapes where scooters and skateboards have hit corners, balls have collided with ceilings and school bags have been flung off shoulders without care. The moments of joy, contentment, conviviality, challenge and anger. Moments shared in love and tenderness, sometimes in sickness or frustration but mostly always in happiness. How to extricate them from a place?
You see, I think that if you live in a home for long enough, memories begin to seep and settle deep into the bones of a place. Sometimes, at night, I lie listening to the creaks and groans of our home, wondering if it’s our collective memories causing the shifts as she settles down for another evening wrapping us in her embrace.
Our home gives you a hug each time you come through the front door. Sounds silly, but I’m not alone in noting that feeling; many people have said the same. I wonder if it’s our collection of good memories and those of previous owners that make her behave this way? The happy ghosts of each family’s tenure if you will.
Now, as we prepare to leave after almost 10 years, I’m sad to be leaving a home that hugs. I’m sorry that there are many physical symbols of our time here that I can’t bundle up and take with us. Of course, the “big ticket” memories will always reside in my heart, impossible to remove, but I’ve grown rather attached to the small, everyday memory-makers ~ the dings, Shrek faces, sticky tape stains, even the wee patch at the top of the stairs.