We bought our little house on October 31, 2006. Halloween. Niko was just my boyfriend back then and we didn't know what we were doing. We giggled through the closing while eating cookies from Starbucks. I dunno, buying a house didn't seem like that big of a deal. House! Fun times! It felt totally normal to just buy a big hunk of property together after dating a whole nine months. (The older, more logical parent side of me cringes in retrospect. I bought a HOUSE? With some new BOYFRIEND?) I mean, it is totally logical to purchase a janky rehab project with a guy you just met when you are 26 and sort of broke. Lord, I will have to guide my daughters when they get to decision-making age.
But wait! Don't feel too sorry for me because the story has a happy ending. Six years later, after sawing this thing to pieces down to the studs and rebuilding it with our hands (and the help of some handy dudes who seemed to do a lot of pooping on the job) we emerged with a finished home. I'd even say it's beautiful. During that time we also got married, had two kids, bought and sold three old Volkwagons, mended a broken hockey ankle (Niko) grew out some bad highlights (me) and ate about 90 pounds of pancakes. It ain't too bad of a life.
But today? Today is Day One in our great enterprise to unload this thing. Yep, we're on the market. Listed. Selling. It hurts me to sell this house I worked so hard on and it gives me panic attacks to think about leaving the community I fought for. The hours we have worked on the effort to get a park on the site of the old Edgewater Medical Center and the years I have spent teaching play group in the church basement down the street are coming to a close. How can I leave this great little pocket of the city where little girls toddle down the street with play strollers and fusion crepes are within walking distance? I'll be truthful and tell you why.
1. We're not secure here. Too much crap about me is online, including my home address and it's caused me to lose faith in my location. Eff you, Zillow. I'm wise to you now! My new address will be a mystery to the Internets. PS - That is not a challenge to stalk me in the mean time.
2. The bedrooms aren't right in my house. I guess technically the kids could live upstairs and the hubs and I could just hide out in our lower level master suite (that's realtor talk for "the basement") until we ship them off to arranged marriages. I mean college. But I'd rather have a normal house where we don't share bunk space with spiders. Spiders are icky.
3. SCHOOL. God, have I talked about school enough? For a kid who never did her homework, I'm pretty obsessed with getting my girls the perfect education. Our neighborhood public school is okay, but the down side is that English is a second language to a large chunk of the kids. That's rad for preschool where maybe mine will pick up a little lingo, but having translators in the room seems like it might muck up higher learning in the upper grades. How are you supposed to learn if you have to pause all the time to get the whole room caught up? I just don't like the logistics and I'd prefer if my child understood everything being said in class.
4. Peace. I've been in the city ten years. I've spent so many years on the train and the bus and paying outlandish parking tickets that I'm ready for the tranquility of the suburbs. Go ahead, call me a nerd or an unstylish suburbanite who eats Cool Whip on Velveeta sandwiches washed down with Boring, but it's happening. I think. Well, to be honest this whole thing is my husband's idea. But I'll bloom where I'm planted and if that means a blasé life of lawn mowing (where do you buy a mower, by the way?) then I guess so be it. Besides, if I could find the fun to be had at a religious college on a dry campus with a 70% female population, trust me, I'll find the dark side of the burbs.
I would ask you to wish us luck, but I'm not sure I'm ready to go. Maybe just wish me to not get the shakes thinking about this whole thing.
On the road again.