I’ve been waiting for this moment – yearning for it, praying for it – for more than a year. After one failed attempt at selling our house, the idea of putting our house back on the market frankly terrified me. So, just two weeks after sticking a “for sale” sign in our yard for a second time, I was shocked to hear these words from my Realtor: you have an offer.

The details of the offer are for another post. What I want to focus on right here, right now are the complicated emotions I’m feeling in the wake of this offer (which, it perhaps goes without saying, we accepted).

Let’s start with the house itself. It’s nothing special. It’s a cookie-cutter house in a cookie-cutter neighborhood. It has three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, a kitchen, family room, and dining room, plus a sunroom we added in 2008 (which later proved to be our financial undoing – but, like I said, that’s a story for another post). It’s on a quarter acre on a quiet street, with a great climbing tree in the backyard. Like I said, it’s nothing special: except it is, rather, it was, to me.

It’s me and my husband’s first home, and represented our realization of the American Dream. To us, it signified that we’d made it as bonafied adults, independent of our parents. I remember crying the first time we pulled into the driveway for a routine showing with our real estate agent; it was the same feeling when I tried on my wedding dress for the first time, the same feeling I had when I held my babies for the first time. It just felt right.

And that brings me to my babies. This was the home to which I brought my children after giving birth. This is where I learned to be a mother, where my husband learned to be a father. This is where my son and daughter learned to crawl, walk, talk; the perfectly flat driveway is where my daughter’s learning to ride a two-wheeler. So many of our memories as a family are wrapped up in this house that there’s a part of me that wonders if I’ll ever be able to separate the two.

I learned that the buyer will be turning our home into a rental property, and that, too, has left me with conflicted emotions. Knowing that the people who ultimately live here won’t have the same pride of ownership my husband and I have felt over the years is a little bittersweet. And the glass-half-empty gal deep down inside has me secretly terrified the renter will turn our first home into a meth house; yeah, I know I’m a little bit crazy.

Ultimately, none of this will stop us from packing up and moving out – and on – but it gives me pause nonetheless. It makes me take stock of my life and my family and the memories we’ve made here. It makes me question whether I’ll ever feel as much at home in any other house as I have here in our first. But, more than anything, it makes me anxious for the future, for our next place, and for the memories we’ll undoubtedly make there.

Did you feel conflicted about selling your home? How’d you negotiate those complicated emotions?

Libby Balke

Libby Balke