My heart broke a little bit tonight. Our first house--the house that we left so eagerly almost eight years ago so that we could build our big house on our big chunk of land--was sold to someone new. It was on the market just long enough to tease us with the idea of going back: back to our old house and our old neighborhood and a bit of our old life. I think I'm smart enough to recognize that what I want most of all is to feel the simplicity of that old life again. My children (only three of them then) were small and sweet and there was so much time to spend with them. I wasn't working much and I didn't need to. We went to parks and playgrounds and had lunch with friends. We picked pumpkins and painted pictures and built a lot of things with blocks. I know there was more to it than that, but I don't remember those things. When I think of my old house, the rooms are filled with sunlight and memories of my tiny children and for the first time in eight years the pain of giving up that house and parting with those years is sharp. I know that my memories were not sold along with the house, I know that going back wouldn't make life any simpler, and I know that home is more about my people than about my place. But each year our lives seem to get a little more complicated and overwhelming; for a few days last week the possibility of going back to the place that held those years was terribly comforting and the loss of that possibility has made my heart ache.