As my parents contemplate their move to Chicago, they are going through all their stuff and deciding what to take and what to shed from their lives. After years of storing and dusting and making room in their house for my childhood dollhouse, they have decided it's time to let it go on to its next owner. I know it would make my mom really happy if I took it, but we're not going to. It's just so big, and not really the kind of dollhouse little kids can play with. Maybe a mature, careful 7-year-old, but our house is filled with babies and toddlers and will be for the foreseeable future. And anyway, we are trying to be the kind of people who own less stuff and have been working hard on paring down our possessions. (Didn't I even blog about that? Yes, I did.) Anyway, with much hesitation and soul-searching, my parents have decided it's not in their best interest to keep it, and then we decided the same thing, so it is time to say goodbye.
I am keeping most of the furniture, in case you're wondering, along with the tiny dishes and food (oh, how I love the tiny food...) and other miniature accoutrements. Those things are much easier to store in a manageably-sized box in a closet so it is only the house itself that is leaving us. The house itself is quite lovely, though, and filled with memories and my girlhood distilled and all that. My parents built it for me, running tiny electrical wires for the lights and hanging the wallpaper and laying the carpet and painting with tiny brushes.
Dollhouses are a THING in my family, specifically my mom's family, in case you are wondering what possessed my parents to undertake such a project. Some of the furniture in these pictures has been played with by several generations of little girls.
When my parents told me their plans for the dollhouse, it wasn't hard to agree and to let it go, but I did decide to set it up and take a lot of pictures beforehand-- you know, for the memories. What's really special and valuable here are not the actual physical objects but the memories of being a little girl, of my world of sweet play and pretend. I don't regret choosing to let the dollhouse go, but there is still a touch of sadness in saying goodbye.
In other housing news, my parents have sold their house. I know! Amazing, right? Their house was on the market for 10 days or so and after getting a couple of offers they signed a contract on Friday. Their neighborhood has done pretty well even in the midst of the housing slump, but this was still pretty amazing. My mom invests a lot of time and energy and resources into her house and one benefit of that is that your house tends to sell super quickly. So they leave this coming Saturday to do their own house-hunting in Chicago and my dad will just stay up there in temporary housing to start his new job in about 10 days. My parents will close on selling their house here the middle of September and gosh, they are really moving, aren't they? It's been sad to see them grieving the end of their life here, the end of their time in their home, the end of their expectations for the next decade or so. I wish I could somehow make them more happy (although not enough to take the dollhouse, apparently). As for me, I mostly feel blank inside about them moving, with here and there a splash of jealousy and then a streak of relief that now I won't have to feel guilty about wanting to move away from them. I think it hasn't started to feel real to me yet. My parents living anywhere but Texas seems as hypothetical and imaginary as the family who has lived in my dollhouse for all these years.