It was the last night living in Poulsbo. Tomorrow our things would be packed and we would move out of Washington. I know that I’m a military spouse and my time in one area is limited to two to four years and I knew moving in that this wouldn’t be our “forever home” but I wasn’t expecting to get so attached. It was nearly 2:30am and I could hear Ev start to whimper. I carefully walked into his room shuffling my feet across the floor so not to step on legos and other small toys that covered the floor like confetti that falls out of a birthday card. As hard as you try to pick it all up, there is always more confetti. I found myself staring at my first baby. His eyes were shut tight and his face angelic. I grabbed his tiny little boy hand and kissed his warm cheek. Looking around the dark room I felt a pang of heartbreak about leaving. This was the room he crawled and stood and walked for the first time. It wasn’t just the room. It was all the changes of the last two years. In the time we’ve lived in this house I’ve celebrated anniversaries, Ev’s first birthday, made new friends, lost a best friend, mended broken family relationships and watched a lot of Mickey Mouse. I had to learn my way around. New freeways. New friends. New grocery stores. The grocery stores are the worst. It should be a law that all grocery stores must be set up the exact same way so I don’t have to double back a gazillion times for the one thing I can never find. The struggle is real.
As I crawled back into bed my husband must have sensed my sadness because he pulled me in tight and kissed my head. I laid in the dark listening to the window fan and my two dogs snoring. I thought about all the happenings of the last two years. The ways I’ve been pulled and stretched as a wife, mom, daughter, sister and woman. Then I thought about what lies ahead. I wonder what memories our next home will have. I’ve find when I move anywhere I get into the bad habit of comparing the best of the place I left to the worst of the new place. When I moved to DC, I missed San Diego beaches, weather and Mexican food. When I moved to Poulsbo I missed the grandeur of DC, career opportunities, parties and our home church. Now that I’m leaving Poulsbo I know I will miss the almost eerie perfectness of this little town. I will miss antique shopping downtown and watching the city workers water the pink and purple flowers hanging from street posts. I will miss my moms group, our wonderful neighbors and seeing people I know all over town. As much as I miss all of this, the worst habit I can get into is to compare this place with the next. And that’s a lesson I’m learning. To live in the present moment because both skipping ahead and looking back are wasteful. Tomorrow the movers will come and our things will be shipped to our new home. I know that in moments of not know how to get around town or having local friends, I will stop and miss our last place but then, like all military spouses must, I will decide to live in the present and step up to learn new freeway, make new friends and alas, make my way around a new grocery store.
Goodbye Poulsbo it’s been fun!!