Back in high school when my parents split up, I thought Dad would live in the home we grew up in together as a family forever. A younger me thought, Why wouldn't he? It has everything a man could ever want. A quarter-mile driveway providing endless privacy. Four bedrooms. Two and a half baths. A massive family room. A spankin' new kitchen with stainless steel appliances. A younger, more naive me thought that living there alone would be like Dad owning his own palace (complete with at least three flat-screen TVs). And a hot tub.
The realistic me years later is coming to terms with the fact that he doesn't need this house. A realistic me is wondering when he's going to spruce up the yard, fix a few things on the inside, and move out of the place where I used to play Xena Warrior Princess in the backyard. And a few weeks back, I got a bit of an answer to that.
He asked, "Would you be sad if I sold this house?"
My answer? "Sure I would be. But you should."
Sure, I have a lot of memories in that olive green house. It was there I learned how to ride a bike. It was there I hit my first baseball. It was there I learned my first Britney Spears dance (totally a childhood landmark moment), and there that I baked my first cake in my Easy-Bake Oven. I remember deciding which college I would attend sitting at the kitchen table, and oh man, the glasses of wine we've consumed sitting around the granite kitchen counter as Billy Joel blasted overhead.
As much as I value those memories, though, we'll make new memories somewhere else. It'll be a new chapter, with new appliances and new bottles of wine. Besides, I moved out. I moved on. And at the end of the day, there's no real reason that Dad shouldn't, either.
... He just better let me dig through that basement first for my collectibles before throwing everything into a dumpster. You know that dusty American Girl doll in the corner is going to be worth a pretty penny one day.
Do you or your family members still live in the home you grew up in? Do you have your own story about moving on?
Image via Emily Abbate