She takes a baby in her arms and follows me back to the nursery, where we sit on the floor across from one another and introduce ourselves.
Are you excited to move back?
And which will be your room?
I forget for a moment that I'm twice her age, regressing to my old habits of speech, mannerisms. I want to know where she's going to hang her Jason Priestley poster. I want to know what color she's going to paint the walls.
The day we got the call that we'd have to move out I was in the same place. I was sitting in the room with the babies, just hours after we took them home from the hospital and Hal was outside yelling at the landlord on his phone. And here we are, nine months later, Hal outside, laughing with the landlord and me, with the babies and the girl who would inhabit their room.
We talk for a while with ankles crossed, our backs against two different walls. We talk about school and being sixteen and her favorite subjects. She tells me about her summer intern program at UCLA. About her younger sister and brother.
"I'm the oldest of three, too."
We talk about the babies as they crawl back and forth between us.
"They're so different it's crazy."
And then her father appears, says hello and shakes my hand. He gives me the name of the man that will repaint this house, the contractor that will redo the floors. He got a great deal and maybe we'll want to hire the same team.
We do, thank you.
And then he tells his daughter it's time to go.
"It was really nice to meet you."
"It was really nice to meet you, too."
"Good luck with your move."
"Good luck with yours."
I assumed would be ours for the long haul is suddenly gone.
This was supposed to happen and I'm grateful. I'm grateful that it worked out for us and and I'm grateful that it worked out for them. Grateful that my favorite room in the house will belong to her.