Cate deciding her tights were a canvas to write on in ink and marker (which ended up on her legs, of course), and leaving a trail of Rice Krispies everywhere she went. I feel like I vacuumed the house twice a day when they were home phantom piles and messes popping up every time I turned around. It was a second job just keeping up with them and their busy tendencies.
More than once I found myself exclaiming, "What is this?" Pointing to something on the floor, counter top or other surface area only to receive casual and unknowing shrugs from one or both of the girls. I have spent much of the last two weeks covered in make-up from Cate's constant make-overs and purple, orange, green, and yellow splatters cover my fingernails from last night's "manicure." I've read more books and put in Disney DVD's, organized play dates, thrown together lunches on the fly, and helped reorganize all the Christmas toys in already over-filled rooms. The constant motion, chaos, and noise is now still. And though I can breathe, I miss them already.
I made a big decision recently; well a series of them actually. For one, I'm selling my house. My beloved house on the corner lot that I fell in love with when I first walked through the garage door before it was even finished six years ago. A new home, never lived in, that had so much space for us to fill. I remember seeing the light fixtures that I would have picked myself, that hung from the unpainted ceiling, the gorgeous granite counter tops, the warm fireplace in the back of the family room, and the closet that could finally hold the mass of clothes I've gotten over the years. The decision has been on my mind and I've finally made the decision. Despite waning property values and the work required to make it happen, its time.
The silence is heavy today and makes the decision feel more real than ever in my mind. I'm realizing in the void today that I'm better for having the chaos of my life, even on the days when it makes me want to pull out my hair. And though my girls will be coming back into my arms this afternoon, there is an emptiness here without them. Not in space, but in how the space feels when they are gone. Because they are my home... and long after these walls belong to someone else and we've gone, we'll never lose what was contained here, because we'll bring it with us. We're not leaving a home behind, we're just moving on to a new one.