Boxes. I despised that word for almost all 8th grade year and into freshman year. This was due to the endless amounts of talking about them. I can still remember my mother saying “We need more boxes. We need them for the kitchen, the living room, and the kid’s rooms.” Worst of all I remember her saying, “Emilee you need to start packing.” I didn’t want to do any of that so-called packing. It made me upset. I can still remember mom throwing boxes in my room for the first time. The “thud” that the boxes made on my carpet floor and the crisp snapping of the boxes opening, so things could be packed away in them. The tape being put on top to seal them in the darkness of the box until it’s time for them to be opened back up at their “new home.”
Slowly the boxes left and emptiness came. I started walking through my white two story home that once used to be filled with pictures that my mom believed were the best ones we had. She loved the pictures of my toothless seven year old self. And all the knick knacks that were hung around them. I can still clearly remember the coca-cola themed kitchen that hadn’t been changed since before I was born, but was regularly dusted by my mother. All the memories flooded from as far back as I could remember. They always hit me like a ton of bricks. I cried more in that 8th grade year than I ever had. Every time I walked in my home I felt like crying. I was only crying for the memories I was about to lose. Not because I might be moving out of town. It was the things that can’t be replaced that I wept for.
When my mother first talked about moving, I heard things like “I want to leave Lathrop” or “Should we leave right before Emilee starts high school?” These statements were always going through my mind. These thoughts caused a lot of tension between me and my mom. I can still remember some of the first thing I said to my mom when I found out we were moving. I yelled “I hate you mom! You’re ruining my life. We shouldn’t be moving at all.” The look of hurt on her face brought out her deep wrinkles that I had never noticed until that moment. I still regret ever making that look come across her features.
The day she came home and told me someone had bought our house brought an instant feeling of dread along with it. When you move, you lose all sense of security that you receive from your home. You feel lost. Like you’re being betrayed by the one thing you thought you’d always have in your life. That’s exactly how I felt my eighth grade year. I thought that my mom was moving away from my childhood home to punish me for some reason that I had yet to be told. I didn’t understand the reason my mom wanted to move. My home may of been a little small and crowded, but it was perfectly fine in my eyes . Little did I know how small it actually was.
Not too long after the selling of the house came the big news. “We’ve bought a new house” my mom cried out. This was supposed to be a good thing since we had to be out of our home in the matter of two weeks, but it just made that feeling of dread worse. Even though it shouldn’t take that long to clean out my room. It felt like it took forever, but it also didn’t feel real. I was leaving my home. The one place that held all my childhood memories. How was this new house going to be my home? It didn’t have the hole in the door my dad made with his fist when he fell. It didn’t have the BB holes in the blinds from my brothers playing war throughout the house with their airsoft guns. This house wasn’t even going to have my rainy days swing that my dad made for me when I wasn’t able to play outside. I felt lost. Like I didn’t belong anywhere now. That my home wasn’t actually my home anymore. That last night in my home I made a promise to myself. This new house would never be my home. But what would be my home if this house wasn’t?
Once we got to the new house and started unpacking I realized that if I wanted, my room could be set up the exact way it was at the old house. Sure, the carpet wasn’t the same greyish-green that it was in my old room, but this room’s grey carpet made the room look bigger. As I unpacked each item they basked in the light of the new room. They had been in the darkness for only a couple days, but I had missed them on the empty shelves of the bookcase. As my room started to come together I realized just how small my old room had been. This new room made my twin size bed look tiny. Its sturdy frame only taking up a tiny sliver of the room. Even the closet seemed huge due to the small amount of cloths that I had been used to hanging up.
After everything was unpacked, all of those stupid boxes were soon thrown in the trash never to be needed again. The new house seemed so much bigger than my childhood home. All of the rooms were bigger, and everyone’s things fit even better than they did before. My dogs had more room to run around and now even had their own beds in the living room. Everyone seemed to like the room and always tried to take up as much as possible. I can still remember my brothers, Zac and Tanner, wrestling in the living room for the first time with my dogs trying to join in on the fun by barking and jumping around.
That first week at the new house I made new memories and thought back on old ones. These memories were starting to intertwine and become one. My family seemed to be happy here and I started to see that I was too. I was still going to the same school because we only moved across town so I didn’t have to make new friends like I originally thought. My mom had taken my pleas into consideration and had not moved out of town. These things that made me scared to move seemed like such stupid thoughts now. Everything I was worried about losing I still had, the only thing that changed was where these things now lived. I no longer felt that dread that had come at the beginning of moving, it now was a feeling of hope for the future. And the best thing was that at the end of unboxing everything we got to have a big bonfire with all those stupid boxes.
Waking up to the smell of fresh pancakes was floating in the air it was the first night in the new house everything seemed as normal as it was in the old house. Only everyone had more room and looked more refreshed than they had in the last couple of months. The bags under their eyes were almost gone. When I woke up that morning I didn’t hate it as much because even though we had moved from my childhood home, I didn’t lose anything. Mom still made us breakfast in the morning and my brothers were still annoying causing petty fights between all of us. My dogs were still under our chairs begging for the food on our plates. I realized that I still had my family, my dogs, and everything that was important to me or my family came with us. After all of this resentment, I realized that moving wasn’t so bad. Except for those boxes.