a few weeks ago, i wrote this (but never published it):
i have absolutely no idea if we are doing the right thing by moving to a new house.
i have prayed, i have planned, i have spent so. much. time. thinking about what style of house in what location would be ideal for my kids to grow up in, and even though i feel confident that we found the house we will grow old in, the house that my kids will call home for the rest of their childhoods, i still just don’t know if what we are doing is the right thing.
sure, the house is wonderful, and i think it will foster closeness while allowing us space to grow and change and host parties and dinners and holidays and everything in between.
but am i being too greedy to want a house with a big bathtub in the master bedroom?
is it too materialistic of me to desire a home that is pleasing to me aesthetically?
is it financially a step backwards to take on a higher mortgage with our student loans and our car payments also lurking and demanding attention? (not to mention our kids’ neglected college savings accounts.)
will my Lionel cry when he visits his new school in the fall and bemoan the unfamiliar faces? will he grow and learn and reach his full potential at this school, or would he be better served at his old school?
i always thought that being an adult meant somehow unlocking all of the answers to these big questions, but now that i am an adult, i see that isn’t true. but on days like this, how i was it was true.
i reread these words this morning, and honestly, i’m in a completely different place now.
i know that this move, for our family, is the right thing for us.
sure, there are always fleeting worries about money or about big cities or about commutes or about Lionel meeting new friends and thriving in first grade at his new elementary school. but as i sit here today, i feel different – i know that we’ll all be okay: better than okay.
* * *
i’m convinced that people (especially people with young kids and a rambunctious puppy) don’t move to a new house or a new town because it’s easy.
people move because they’re seeking something that they don’t currently have that they view as a need.
what i don’t currently have is not simply a bathtub that’s my own (although, certainly, that’s true).
what i don’t have now, what WE don’t have right now, is the space to grow closer together as a family while simultaneously refueling our individual selves apart from each other. what we don’t have right now is the opportunity to retreat to a private space, whether that’s Jordan (three cheers for his new office with a door!), the kids (hip hip hooray for each kiddo having his own bedroom that’s located on the same level of the home as each other and as their parents’ bedroom), or me (God bless the afore-mentioned bathtub).
what we don’t have right now is a yard that’s conducive to play, both for our go-getter kids and for our sweet but active Golden Doodle, Nellie (all the praise hands for a fence that will be built, if all goes well, by the end of May).
what we don’t have right now is more space to entertain our friends and host our families (giving thanks for wide open spaces that can fit a lot of folks).
it’d also be foolish and untrue to deny the power of pleasing aesthetics here, particularly when it comes to my happiness. call it materialism, but i call it something different – knowing thyself. i personally thrive in spaces that meet my needs of function and of form. it’s not lost on me that i’ve been happiest and have seen the most personal and professional success with our current home as my home base. however, i am eager to make my decorating mark on our new home while appreciating the improved functions (over our current home) that it offers to our family (hello, main floor laundry!).
* * *
despite all that we don’t have right now, it’s important to acknowledge that our current house has given us so, so much.
it’s been our first home – the place where i found my decorating “sea legs,” so to say. the place where our Lionel first learned to walk. the place where we brought Quincy home. the place where we dreamed and hoped and lived and loved (and squabbled, sure).
in short, it’s been our home. and i plan to spend some time these last two weeks (!!) savoring all that we’ve done and learned and grown as a result of it.