Did you know that Ryan and I live in the same exact apartment my parents lived in when I was born?
Many of our friends have lived in this 4-plex apartment building, and even more friends have lived on this same street. Most people I’ve grown up around “started out” here on our street. It’s amazing to me when I consider all the memories that were surely made within this small cul-de-sac.
Sometime after we (my parents, my brother and I) moved out of this apartment, our close friends moved in. We spent a lot of time with those friends and I still remember playing here as a child. One of the bedrooms (the one Ryan uses as his studio now) was decorated with hanging foam balls representing the solar system.
Several years later, my grandparents moved into the 4-plex directly across the street. As kids, my brother and I used to spend the night there every Thursday. We’d go out to Red Robin, eat huge bowlfuls of ice cream, and we always had donuts in the morning. My grandmother used to turn off the clock in their living room so that we didn’t wake up to it every hour and one time, we crawled over their back fence into the bowling alley’s parking lot – just for fun.
Years later (in December of 2007, to be exact), Ryan, Jack and I moved into this apartment. Our son began to sleep in the same room my brother slept in as a baby. I painted the walls of my parents’ old bedroom. I noticed the worn pull-out cutting board in the kitchen and so many memories of cheese sandwiches came flooding back into my head.
My firstborn learned to sit up in this apartment. Later, he learned to crawl, then stand, and finally, walk – all in this same apartment. We played together under the huge tree outside – the very same tree I used to play under with my parents.
My second child was born in this apartment. He received his first bath, smiled for the first time, and gave his first giggle – all in this same apartment.
I will never forget these things.
This apartment has known many beginnings, and now, I’m leaving it. It’s time to move on, as my parents did when I was a little girl. There are new beginnings and new memories to be had elsewhere. My heart seems to ache for what I leave, and yet, I feel another good sort of ache for what is yet to come.
It’s time, and my heart knows it.