"We want to move back," he said, acknowledging his timing was terribly (ed:HORRIFICALLY!) inopportune. "You have from now until July 1st... "
Nine months. Nine months. The day we come home with our new babies we are given forty-weeks to gestate a new home.
The doorknob had broken off earlier in the day and I kept thinking it must have been a sign. Kind of like how the sprinklers broke the night I went into labor. How we waded through our flooded front yard as I clutched a towel between my legs. How the water didn't stop until after the babies were born and Hal could call the water company.
When we first found this house, we thought we'd live here forever, or at least, for many many years. That was the understanding when we rented, that we were looking for a place to put down roots, a place to grow. When we signed the contract we were told that that wouldn't be a problem, that the owners of our home had no plans to move back. This is why people buy homes, we now know. Because promises made over first-meetings aren't down-payments, even when they feel set in stone.
I fell madly in love with this house when we first came to see it and still feel the same way coming home as I did that first night. I feel lucky to be here. To have enough room for
two children four children, an office with a foldaway for my mom. I love our neighborhood, our street, Francine who works at the deli on the corner. The vendors at the Farmer's Market we walk to on Sundays. I'm beyond heartbroken that we have to leave.
And then I look around at all these faces and think, fuck a house, THIS is home:
I told Archer immediately so that he could join us in visualizing our next place. Because that is what he does: he sees into a future we couldn't begin to imagine ourselves.
Archer explained he'd like to live closer to a stoplight. Someplace, perhaps, with more stairs. And pretty soon we all chimed in with ideas for our new-improved fantasy home... somewhere with a less splintery patio, a bigger bathroom, doorknobs that don't break.
Meanwhile Hal picked up his computer and started scanning Craigslist. And then my mother joined him and my Nana who stayed up into the wee hours of the morning sending real-estate listings...
Our first night together as a family working through our first challenge. Laughing between tears, cursing and then apologizing to the kids for bad language, rocking babies and hugging each other and thinking that someday we'll remember this night as the night we all came home, not to our "house" but to each other.
And Archer will laugh and say, "remember how I asked for stairs?" and Fable will hold her sisters hands in a new hallway, be it blocks or miles away from here and we'll all just be... somewhere else. And even though it doesn't feel like it right now, that will be okay. Because we'll all be there together.