Have you ever heard the sound of spring peepers? Wikipedia describes them as "chorus frogs" (yup, I looked it up), which is pretty fitting for the musical chirps they make through spring and summer.
Growing up across from a goldfish hatchery, there were plenty of opportunities to listen to their serenade. Hundreds- maybe even thousands of them chirping and peeping together, with the occasional loud croak of a bullfrog mixed in.
It's a noise that could be irritating when you are a quiet-room type of sleeper, as I was while growing up. Three kids and a house 3 miles from an airport later, I've perfected the art of falling asleep with any and all types of noise. Those spring peepers have become not only a sound that doesn't bother me, but a welcomed one.
Over the years since I've moved out, the goldfish hatchery has closed down. Amish bought the land and although they can't build on the soggy soil, it houses their pigs, goats and sheep.
But the swampy ground and outlines of the ponds are still there... and along with that, the spring peepers.
What was once the sound I remember hearing while playing outside at dusk as a child, became the chatter floating through the air as I pulled my car into the driveway after a track meet as a high schooler. What was once the background music for bonfires and cocktails as a young adult, became the melody floating through the windows during late nights of nursing babies.
And those nursing babies turned into small children and I found myself again playing outside at dusk to that noisy harmony.
I'm not a sentimental person when it comes to material things and the memories attached to them. My husband would likely argue that I'm drastically the opposite, as he has witnessed the crazed look in my eyes as I run frantically from room to room, purging everything that hasn't been used in the past month because "our house is small and there is too much damn stuff in it."
But sounds... it's the sounds that get me. The sound of an newborn crying or toddler giggling. The sound of loved ones voices and songs that played during certain life events. Even the sound of that creaky basement door in my house that makes me feel like all will be right in the world, as long as that door keeps on creaking.
And those spring peepers.
After 36 years, my parents are selling and moving out of their house this week. And much like the "firsts" of my last baby, I'm sure we are all feeling the bittersweet tone of this move. My parents are moving to a beautiful new home, with a better layout and in a great location. My kids are going to think that exploring a brand new house is an exciting adventure. But my dad built those walls, my sisters and I slept in those rooms and I logged thousands of miles on those roads.
Yet it's not the house or the roads or the rooms that get me.
It's the sound.
Memories of my childhood will forever be wrapped up in those little "chorus frogs" and their serenade. And that is perfectly fine with me.