Really, it hasn't felt like "home" for some time now - I quickly acclimated to my new location, and with my stuff moved into the rental house and my kids and my dog around me on a regular basis, it feels like home.
So I haven't thought much about the house in Seattle for sometime now. Its a shell where my husband camps in between trips to see us. An insurance liability. An asset, and an obligation.
We signed the buyout agreement with my company this past week, and even then, I didn't get nostalgic. It was a business transaction which would free up what little equity we still have in this down market. One less thing to worry about. And the hubby's new pad is actually closer to the hospital, so easier in this transition. After tonight, he'd have everything moved into the new apartment and out of the house before he came down.
Then he sent me the picture, and I cried.
A door frame, scarred with two sets of multiple hash marks at varying intervals, a gap between them that was clearly closing.
Five years of time marked off. Five years of potty training, lost teeth, first girlfriends, first days of school, birthdays, holidays. Five years of critical measurements, like the day #2 became tall enough for the next series of rides at Disneyland, or the day #1 became taller than his aunt. Watching the top line of the bottom set racing to catch the bottom line of the top set, closing the gap between the boys, as the top line crept closer and closer to my own mark.
We'll mark time other places, in other ways. Soon enough, I won't measure them at all. We'll mark time by driver's licenses, and graduations, and diplomas, and jobs, and weddings, and babies.
But tonight we left behind one consistent marker of the last five years of watching my babies make their journey into men.
I cried. But then, I'm a mother. I'm allowed.