Today marks one week away from moving out of our little condo, with it’s 1970s mirrored walls and gigantic sky-lights. The spiral staircase and fireplace. The salmon colored wall. I will not miss the tiny closets or the ancient kitchen appliances. I will miss the natural light. Even though it is horribly unsuited for a family of three, plus cat, I am still feeling pangs of sadness to leave this, our first home as a family. I spent the last months of my pregnancy here, waiting and hoping and dreaming and crying. I lay like a beached whale in that minuscule bedroom, the summer sun slanting in through the blinds, wondering who my daughter would be and would she like me? I took photos of my massive belly in the bathroom mirror, sallow light casting shadows down my face. And then, she was here, and we brought her home through the sliding screen doors. Paced the cracking tile floors at 3AM, our softly sung songs bouncing off the skylights. I stared at her tiny face in wonder in every room of this condo. I will not miss the college kids next door, but I will miss that.
Next week, we become nomads. Again. Except, this time, we have an eight-month-old in tow. In the past, it was exciting. There was that stretch of living in a tent on the banks of the Guadalupe River, newly in love and excited for the coming summer and it’s promise of water, beers, friends, laughter. I worked in a mobile-home converted into an office on a RV park, and he drove college kids up-river and dumped them into the water in their tubes. He told me he loved me while holding back my hair as I threw up my dinner and too much tequila. I cut the sleeves off of all his t-shirts and thought about stitching love-notes into the seams.
We lived in tents, in rooms of Victorian houses, in a dilapidated trailer-park with mice in the cupboards, in a teeny house on the railroad tracks. Summers came and went and we moved back and forth, always chasing the river, always working towards that feeling we had that first time, living under a live-oak on the banks of our favorite river.
This time, Cece is with us and there will be no tents and no tequila. This time, we trade the river for the ocean. We are leaving the part of Texas we thought would be it for us. We are leaving the deep green valley of the Guadalupe and trading it for the windswept landscape of the south Texas coast. But it is still exciting, there is still so much to look forward to. We are going to buy our first house, and if that isn’t as exciting as a summer full of debauchery, I don’t know what is. A house, our own, with a yard and a fence and a patio and a room for Cece. A studio for me. A garage for him. Multiple nooks and crannies for the cat. I will take the bouncing between relatives, the upcoming nights of sleeping in new and strange places with an infant, the long car rides, the chaos of moving and storing our entire lives if that is the outcome. The payoff.
Just like then, when I was staring at him with heart-eyes, it is worth it. This is worth it.