Do you know that honeymoon feeling of love with someone new? We've got a case of it in our family. Today was officially our last full day in our house here in Rossland, and we are feeling ALL the emotions that come with saying goodbye to a place that has been good to us. Along with the pain of saying farewell comes the excitement of turning the page and seeing what the next chapter holds. For the next few weeks, we will be doing a combo of house sitting and camping, while I finish up some work projects before we depart. (A very special thank you to Patti Schader for being the first to offer up her place to us. So kind.)
Just 3 years ago, we came to this house as a family of 5 and are now leaving as 7.
The house has seen us at our best and has seen us at our worst. Together in this house, we
have experienced sicknesses, lockdowns, 2 pregnancies, community living, family business stresses, and adjustments through COVID. We arrived with two sausage dogs that landed up "doing it" the night after our 4th child was born, and we ended up spending a period of time with 6 dogs and 4 kids under 1 roof while we waited for the pups to be old enough to ship out. (Thank God for our puppy purge, we finally admitted that 1 dog, let alone 6, is just not for us at this point in our lives). I remember actually googling if such thing as a dog version of the "Plan B" existed that fateful night! :)
Then, just 7 months ago, we delivered our 5th child, Columbia, together in the quiet of our master bedroom.
And now it is time to go.
In both marriage and parenting, sometimes things can get blah. The mystery of a hot first date or the newness of a fresh baby in the family eventually fades as routines become ruts. At times it takes work and a heavy loyalty to commitments to push through with honor. But, as we find ourselves more and more out of our comfort zones, we realize something really cool, and that is that we get to know more about one another as our environment is changing. The butterflies return!
Maybe when things get tough or even just bland in a relationship, it's not the person that needs to be swapped. Perhaps it's just the environment. For us, it's proving to be exciting and exhilarating getting to know one another in an already different setting. As for me, having grown up in Latin America, I'm pretty excited for my family to see my 'Spanish' side... and to develop one of their own!
Tonight, Simon, Royal, and I are camping out in the living room. As we tucked in, we reflected on the best moments of our time here in this house. Royal, age 8, thanked me for having allowed them to live in such a nice place. We've been fortunate to be where we are. Such an incredible opportunity arose right when we moved from Saskatchewan to rent this place. And just to be clear, it feels like a bit of a breakthrough moment with Roy as he often has had difficulty looking past his 8-year-old first-world problems. One could almost say that Royal's clamors of injustice make up many of the straws on the camel's back that finally broke. And so, I'm thankful for him too tonight.
My children teach me so much about myself through their behaviors. Observing them shows me exactly what I need to change in my life and what I should be proud of.
I trust this decision to move is in their best interest, and just as they developed some sick skiing and snowboarding skills here in Rossland, they will also excel in something new elsewhere for a while before returning to what they now define as home.
Here's a little gallery of our chapter in this winter-wonderland home in Rossland, BC.
(So, yeeeeeah, my kids think my boxers are pterodactyl costumes.)
Thanks for your interest and support for our family.
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Owen Dargatz is a Canadian father of five, husband of one, and writes about life as a family man. Having grown up with three sisters in Peru, he has a unique view and appreciation for Latin American culture, travel, and family values.
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