1412 Park.

We spent over 1,000 days at the store.  Over a thousand days of memories.  Early days of baby Lincoln napping in a basket in the closet.  Our booze soaked Lemon Tree customers.  The bright RED of the first location, the long steps to the loft that taught Lincoln how to go up and down stairs.  The loft at the first location where Lincoln, Stella, and I learned to co-exist as a trio.

The Park St location where Lincoln would ride his trike around and around and around.  Where he would sneak his bottles and police cars into my window displays, because he wanted to add his prized possessions in with mine.  The silver line of the doorway where he would line up his little green stool and cheer on firetrucks and shout “Hi!” to people as they walked by.  Where they all learned their fine motors skills by helping me pay the meter every three hours on days we drove.  And our slow, slow, SLOW walks home where Stella would smell every flower and Lincoln would pick leaves and tell me to save them forever.  Some of those leaves are still in the stroller cups, brown and dried.

Memories of days when Lincoln learned the term “work in the window” and learned the basics of merchandising at age 3.  He’d follow me around asking why I was putting a certain item in a certain spot, memorizing my method.  Telling me how pretty I make the store.  Where Stella learned to approach customers and announce, “Hi STELWA!”  Where she would hide under tables and giggle if a customer looked under at her.  (or scream depending on her mood…)

For the thousand days we spent at the store I probably read Go Dog Go 2,000 times.  I probably took 4,000 pictures.  We probably cried for over 3,000 hours.  (and laughed closer to 8,000) Spent more money at Starbucks and the toy store next door than I even want to add up.  We napped, we potty trained, we destroyed and created and had bike races and learned the logistics of hide and seek.  We had parties and play dates and made friends.

At 1412 Park we had a childhood.  We became a family of four, and then five.

Today I cleaned out the closets.  Mopped the floor one last time.  Found all those lost marbles from the marble run in the deepest crevices and corners.  Took our tattered books to the used book store and the some toys back to the toy store for their used department.  I dismantled that childhood and shoved it in a van.

One last time I turned off the lights, dragged in the store sign, and locked the door.  Tomorrow I unload that van and I begin a new phase of our childhood.  A phase filled with adventures and explorations.  Of new lessons and empty days waiting to be filled.  We won’t have firetrucks to wait for, windows to merchandise, or customers to practice our talking with.  But we have each other and we have a thousand days worth of memories.