Well, okay, maybe that's a little harsh.
I really don't like my house.
It's too small. The builder did a shoddy job. The wiring is faulty. The carpet is cheap and badly in need of a cleaning. There is no pantry. It's too small. The original paint (still in a few upstairs rooms) was hideous. There is nowhere for visitors to park. The people renting across the street like to swear at each other, with the windows open, at 2am. Did I mention it's too small?
Okay, fine, I hate my house.
But I refuse to move if it means leaving this neighborhood.
We moved here almost sight unseen. In fact, the first time I laid eyes on the house, or the neighborhood, was the day we pulled up with the moving van and a front door key. Chris flew up and spent a day with a realtor, looking at houses and taking pictures, which he then shared with me. After a lot of thought and prayer, we settled on a place and made an offer.
We've lived here six years now. In June, Vicki "graduated" out of the same school she started attending in kindergarten. There is a core group of families that we've met since that day in 2005 that I consider to be as good as family; people I love to spend time with, and who I trust with my children (and who I'm fairly certain trust me with theirs.) I cannot imagine my life without these families as a part of it.
You've heard the phrase, "It takes a village to raise a child"? Time and again since moving away from our "real" family, I have seen this in action. These families have banded together to help look out for each other. They have been my salvation on a number of occasions. I've seen rides offered so that someone else's child doesn't have to miss out on a book club meeting. I've seen watchful eyes kept on other's people's children on the school playground - I know that if something were to happen to me and I wasn't able to make it to the school on time to pick up my kids, several other parents would have my back. I've seen countless impromptu playdates, arranged on the spur-of-the-moment with a "what's one more?" attitude. I've seen parents willing (and even - dare I say it - excited) to look after my children on short notice when I've needed it most.
Maybe it's like this everywhere. I don't know - I guess I never needed it before. But I do know that we have our own amazing little Village here (might I just add that it's due in no small part to our wonderful neighborhood school), and I don't ever want to have to find a new one.
|Village children and their gingerbread houses, Dec. 2010|
I may hate my house, but I love my home, here in my Village.