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A Fond Farewell to "My First House"

It was March of 2008 when we first discovered we were going to have triplets, bringing our total tally to five children under the age of four. Given that we had simply been hoping for a third child and got three more instead, I was absolutely shocked and stunned, so much so that my initial response was “where will we live?!” I couldn’t envision how we would fit five small children (and their affiliated gear!) in our tiny three-bedroom house. Of course, once the reality of the high-risk pregnancy set in, I became far more concerned with their health (and mine!) than our housing logistics.

Fast forward four years. We are blessed to have five spunky, healthy children aged seven and under. We survived the arrival of the triplets (identical triplets, which makes it all the more challenging!), many sleep deprived nights, and the arrival and departure of baby items that simplified our lives and cluttered our cozy home—triple sets of bottles, blankies, and bouncy seats, just to name a few. These and other baby necessities have been handed down while our tots have been growing up.

Today, our seven-year-old “big guy” and five-year-old “princess” share a room (and a dresser!), and the triplets do too. As they get bigger, my stoic approach that “each kid only needs one drawer!” is getting harder and harder to hold on to; you can fit many more onesies and baby clothes in a drawer than you can size 3T pants and shirts!

It is this crowding of the drawers and overcrowding of our house that led us—at long last—to put it on the market. We’ve always known we needed more space. Over the past few years, we’ve flirted with other homes, longing for their master bedroom suites and spacious playrooms. We’ve been so bold as to put offers on a few, only to wake up the next day wondering what we had done and scrambling to undo it. We weren’t ready to make a move. And now, I suppose, we are. But the very notion summons up such nostalgia, I’m not sure I’ll ever really be ready to leave this house behind.

We arrived here seven years ago, and it was the perfect “my first house.” Even so, I hated it. We moved in on a Friday, and I went back to work the next Monday, leaving my 3-month-old firstborn son behind as I rode the train to the city. The city was my home; I knew my way around and was surrounded by friends and family. It was really difficult for me to make the transition to our bucolic little home in the suburbs, but now, seven years and four more children later, I love it. It’s hard to imagine saying good-bye to this humble abode that has truly become our “Home Sweet Home.”

I relished giving all five of our children bottles on our front porch. Watching them play in the backyard. Helping them climb up the stairs, out of their cribs and into my arms. In the seven years we’ve lived here, our babies have become children, and we’ve all grown older and wiser. It’s time to move on. But it’s so hard to go. Especially when I don’t know where the road will lead us. I can only hope that when we find our next house, it too will quickly become a home as sweet as this.

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