In a few days, we will move out of our apartment on the second floor of a brownstone in Brooklyn. For the last 6 years, we’ve been sandwiched between two families- people who lend us butter, forgive hallway shenanigans, and have become part of the rhythm of our lives here. This apartment on 2nd place was the first and only home Mike and I have lived in together. We moved in as a wobbly 25 year-old couple prone to late nights and questionable decisions, and are leaving it as parents to Luke (human) and Digby (pig moonlighting as dog) who can barely stay awake through even the most gripping Homeland episode, but are feeling pretty solid in our decision-making capabilities. (Win some, lose some, folks).
Our apartment holds all of the moments that shaped our lives for the last 5 (almost 6!) years. We drank champagne in our living room after getting engaged and a few years later I told Mike I was pregnant in our kitchen. I was sitting on our couch when my brothers called to tell me our dad had died of a heart attack and years later I was bent over that same couch for most of my (incredible, empowering, earth shaking) labor with Luke. There are too many more of these major milestones to put here, but I actually think what I will miss most are the mundane, everyday things that make our apartment our home. The way Digby looks lying in the afternoon sun in our bedroom, the comforting sound of our upstairs neighbors coming home in the evening, the way the french doors hang at a slight angle and the curling bark of the old London Plane trees that line our street.
We’ve been preparing for this goodbye for a while and I’ve been thinking lots about rituals and ways to say goodbye. There is always that too cool kid who “doesn’t do goodbyes.” I have never and will never be that kid. In contrast, this week every trip to the market, coffee shop or dry cleaners is filled with nostalgia and at least one shed tear. This weekend, we gathered our closest friends for one last holiday party where I ran around professing my love and gratitude to our friends while my kiddos scuffled around on the floor and ate scraps of food from people’s shoes. The next day, I drove around and delivered our house plants to a few friends. Today, we took a family photo on the stoop. We’ve sucked the meat off the goodbye bone and now on Wednesday we can close up shop knowing that we have lived and loved so fully here on 2nd place. And as my dad would say, Who’s better than us?