Moving is hard. And I don’t just mean sorting through the petit bateau newborn outfits your sister sent you from Belgium when you were pregnant for the first time or letting go of the Le Creuset roasting pan because it weighs a ton. No, I mean dusting everything off. Looking at all of the little things that have become a part of you for so many years, and trying to shake them off though you know that in the past when you’ve tried to shake them off, they’ve stuck to you because their threads are stubbornly interlaced. There are the books, so many books that you’ve read to your babies. The ones who make your big boy laugh and rhyme for days. The ones the baby touches and teethes on. There are the coolers that have brined turkeys, juicy but over salted turkeys, and turkeys that are just right but not golden enough, and all kinds of chickens because Sunday isn’t Sunday without a salty roasted chicken. And then there are the loaf pans that have baked cakes. So many cakes have been baked. So many kinds of cakes. Ones sweetened with honey and orange marmalade made from oranges picked in the neighborhood. Ones with oats and spirulina, because your big boy loves it when the cake turns out green. There are cakes with sprinkles and raspberries, and ones with the sweetest peaches you’ve ever tasted. So many peaches from your friend at the farmer’s market that you don’t feel bad just tossing them in the sticky batter. There are the cakes you shared with a friend while drinking tea and laughing one minute then crying the next because motherhood is lovely but it’s also so hard, and it’s always better to laugh-cry with a good friend. There are the cakes that turned out salty because last minute you realized you have no sugar but plenty of gruyere, olives and ham. Cakes that have hidden veggies but displayed chocolate chips because growing boys are always hungry. Pans that become scratched because you never butter them well enough. But you’re moving and since that pan on its own doesn’t bring you any specific joy, you put it in the sell pile. And there’s that moment when it acutually leaves. Like when I sold the pan for $15 the week after we decided to embark on this journey. It was my very first living room sale. And when they walked away with it and the house was empty, I cried. The kind of cry that hurts your throat a little because it comes from way deep. I wanted to look up the people who had come through, to call them and tell them I’d changed my mind. That I hadn’t meant to sell that one. That it had baked too many cakes, and it needed to bake so many more. I wanted to touch it. To place it back in the now empty cupboard. To stick it back to me and tie the broken threads together. But my husband held me, and when I called my mom, she said, “are you really crying over that old thing?” and I laughed. “You’ll get a better one,” she said, and I knew she was right. But still, purging hurts. It rattles you. Because if you shake hard enough, all these sticky things roll away and you are left lighter, but also more naked, and that change is hard.