C is three. The age of “I do it myself.” The age of repetition. The age of mimicry. And she particularly enjoys mimicking me.
“Wow Mommy, that is AWESOME,” she says, as I finish cleaning up the front porch. “Great job!”
“Um, thanks,” I say. Hello Mini-me…
But it is even better for C if what I’m saying is loud and said in agitation. Bonus points for waving hand gestures and doing all this while driving.
So a couple of weeks ago we are driving along and she drops her raisin snack on the floor. “OMG!” she yells (though she says it all).
“Um, sweetie,” I start. “It’s not nice to say that. You need to say ‘Oh my Stars.'”
“But you say it?”
“Uh, yup, but I shouldn’t,” I agree. “I’ll try to be a good girl and not say it anymore, but I need you to try your hardest too, ok?”
“Ok,” she happily agrees.
So we are now living in the land of “Oh My Stars!” C reminds me (probably more often than she should have to) that “we don’t say that we say ‘Oh my Stars,’ right Mommy?” And I’m trying. Really.
Yesterday was a big “OMS!” moment for us. We put our beloved house on the rental market on July 1. This is the house I bought in 2000 when it had 2 bedrooms and 1 bath and was a tiny little 950 square feet. I chronicled the changes from this:
To the 4 bed/4 bath, 2850 square feet this:
So as we sidled into July 9 without so much as a peep of interest we were a little worried, but not too worried. We still have lots of time, right? Plus it means our house is still our house. At least this is what I keep telling myself.
Then I got a call from the management company that they had a couple who were interested in the house, but our manager was out of pocket, so would I mind coming by to let them in. No problem. I go over, let them in and half an hour later the realtor comes out on the back porch (where I am happily watching Property Brothers…Drew and Jonathan…such a lovely interlude in my day…) and says, “They want it. They wrote me a check for the deposit and the first month’s rent.”
Wait a minute. This is getting really real. We’ve got somewhere to live in DC starting on Aug. 23. Our house is rented starting Aug. 22. AND I’ve announced this on Facebook. This is REALLY happening. And it is such an incredible mix of joy and sadness.
I’ve been through a lot of hellos and goodbyes in my life – moving from London to Toronto to Louisiana to North Carolina – and our lives going forward will be all about hellos and goodbyes but this one is particularly difficult. We have roots here. Roots that are painful to pull up; painful to sever. We’re doing our best to temper the pain: not selling, just renting our house; not quitting, but staying with my firm and continuing to work remotely while we are in D.C. Reaching out and pulling our friends close for a few last weeks while we call Charlotte our home.
But the day draws ever closer where Charlotte will recede in our rear view mirror and become a place on a map….a place with memories to fill a lot of pages, with friends who we hope we will always keep, and a place in our hearts that will always beat with love, and a little bit of longing.