The Next Family

By: Brandy Black

Our house is officially in escrow this morning. As we negotiated our offers it hit me just how much this house means to me. When we bought it 8 years ago, we had recently gotten married (illegally) and were obviously without child, we were even without dog. Two days after moving all of our furniture and boxes, I was off to South Beach for the Video Music Awards, while Susan was at our new home unpacking without me –much to my chagrin. I was at press junkets with Alicia Keys and Ludicrous and partying until the wee hours and back up again at 6AM. My biggest concerns in life were lack of sleep and my wife setting up our new home without me. I remember pacing back and forth in the lobby of the Delano Hotel begging her to wait until I got home. I had no idea at that time how easy my struggles were and how much life was about to change.

A month later we christened our new home with a huge fight resulting in me tossing my wedding ring across the living room floor. I don’t recall what it was about but I do know that it was wrapped in fear and anxiety of the new responsibilities that we held, together. I always warn new couples of the inevitable huge fights that are appropriately timed with big exciting romantic changes…when we first moved in together, when we first got married, when we first bought our home, the list goes on.

This home hosted many a dinner party, BBQ, holiday bash and quite a few rowdy drunken evenings. Susan and I grew up together in this home, moving from young romantic lovers to real true grown-ups with jobs that will likely remain our chosen careers. We welcomed a Wheaten Terrier into our family. I still tell our daughter how he used to fit behind the washing machine in the living room when he was a tiny puppy. He would pee on our tomatoes and strawberries while Susan and I sat chatting on the back patio taking turns yelling at him to stop.

This home held a secret that Susan and I were bursting to share when we first found out I was pregnant after struggling with infertility for three years. It was quiet and peaceful at 4AM when I awoke to check on our newborn daughter in her crib. I grew to love our house in the middle of the night when everyone was asleep and I would nurse my daughter staring at the shadows on the wall. I fell in love with our neighborhood when I’d stroll our baby to the nearby bakery and coffee shop.

This is the first house Sophia has ever known, she crawled her first steps at this house, she felt her first blade of grass in this yard, she learned to open and shut doors with her little hands in these rooms, she rode her first tricycle in this driveway and she left her first hand print in the cement just outside our bedroom window in front of Susan’s gym (the garage).  I know it will be a passing memory for her but this will be engraved in my memory forever, the sweetness of this home, the pink tile in the bathroom, the single-panel doors, the view from our living room of the lush green hedges that we planted in our front yard and the tiny fingers that held these walls and gave me tears of joy that I had never known before.

All of these memories made our house our home. Now, knowing that we will be gone in 45 days, breaks my heart. Not knowing where we are going, what that will feel like, expecting the huge inevitable fight and all the change to come, I hold my family close knowing that they will help me get through this and we will make it together. The fish, the dog, Sophia, my wife and the two little ones in my belly, our family has grown and we will create new memories and stories to tell for years to come.

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