My parents recently moved out of the house they have been in for 20 years.
I only ever lived there for a few months, as they didn’t move there until I was in college, but it was odd to walk through the empty rooms. It was a home base for me, I place I could go if I ever needed to, for the past 20 years.
At one point, about 15 years ago, I was living by myself at a friend’s house. It was only heated by a woodstove, and after waking up one morning to see my breath and accidentally shattering a frozen mug trying to make a cup of tea, I called my mom. I moved back in with my parents for about four months, it gave me a chance to regroup and find a new job.
More recently, we have enjoyed having my parents close, only about 45 minutes away. My dad has been able to come down for an afternoon and spend time with my kids, reading them books, working on puzzles or going for walks.
I know my kids will miss having them nearby, as will my husband and I. And not only for babysitting services. My mom and I have enjoyed going to concerts and book readings together, and my husband and dad have gone to ball games and golf tournaments.
When I was a junior in high school my parents moved to Turkey to teach for three years, and I didn’t see my mom for a full year. Although at 16, I wanted my independence, it was hard for me to be away from my parents for that length of time.
Since then we have been pretty close geographically, within a few hours at most. Now they are moving into my dad’s family home in Pennsylvania, about five hours away.
This was not a surprise, as teachers at private schools many of the houses my parents lived in were campus housing. When my mom was planning her retirement, my parents knew it would mean moving as well.
However, I know I will miss being able to call them up and ask if they want to meet up for dinner or ice cream.
We already have plans to go visit at the end of the month, for a family reunion of some of my dad’s extended family. My parents will be working on making improvements to the 100-year-old house, as well as redecorating it.
Although they are not as close physically, I hope we will be able to keep in close touch. My mom is already talking about setting up Skype for my dad and my daughter. That should help keep everyone connected between visits.
Now that I have my own kids, I treasure my time with my parents even more.