It was March 30, 1990. It was a cold day, raw and wet, the way that early spring in Massachusetts so often feels.
I remember that Paul had gone to work in the morning, and that I met him later in the day. I got my little girl dressed. My beautiful first born, my sweet Katie, my little girl. I packed her little pink backback. Snacks, a juice box, a coloring book and crayons, paper so that she could draw. Two or three little books.
We got in the car to drive the hour or so that it would take for us to get to the lawyer’s office.
I was pregnant. About twenty weeks. I was excited, tired, a little bit anxious. This was a big day for our young family!
I parked the car, took my baby girl by the hand, carrying her backpack and my purse. I put a hand on my belly, knowing that this day was an investment for the baby boy I carried as much as it was for the little girl who skipped along the sidewalk by my side. We walked into the lawyer’s office. I remember feeling awkward, off balance, a little bit giddy.
I remember the long polished table, the pages and pages of documents. I remember being mostly aware of Katie, of hoping that she’d stay quiet. I remember her chatting, laughing, showing me her pictures. I remember her bright spirit filing up the room. I remember signing, and and signing and signing again. I remember glancing at Paul, my nerves probably showing in my anxious smile.
And then I remember that it was done. We were officially home owners.
We’d done it. We had signed a mortgage.
The details are fading now, but the feelings are still there. The thoughts and reactions, the gulping sense of “Oh, my God….”, the excitement as I looked out at OUR trees, OUR woods, OUR yard.
This little house, this modest place in this struggling town, has held and cherished so much that is the best part of my life. My children learned to read here, learned to ride bikes, learned to set the table, learned to make pasta here. This is the home where we hosted our first family Christmas party. This where they went Trick or Treating, where they found their first Lady Slipper, where they walked our first dog.
This is where they held birthday parties. Where they got ready for their first dates.
This is home.
Twenty five years have gone by now. So many old trees have come down, so many new plants have been added. The deck has been rebuilt; my beloved hot tub has been added. The basement, once a cold damp storage room, has seen a wood stove, a pellet stove, bookshelves, a big TV. It has housed too many hockey games, and it has hosted an entire heavy metal band. Now it holds books, and games and a not-very-much-used elliptical machine.
Twenty five years have gone by. Where I was once the pregnant mother, now it my daughter who is awaiting her first child. She is due on the very same day, twenty five years later, that I was told to expect her younger brother.
That little girl is a woman now. She is almost a Mom in her own right.
The house needs work, the yard has changed, the latest dogs are getting older.
A quarter of a century has passed. Everything has changed. Nothing has changed at all.